Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, an American veteran of the war in
Afghanistan who left the U.S. Marines in 2012, has been held in
Mexico since his March 31 arrest by Mexican customs agents at the
San Ysidro border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.
Tahmooressi's supporters, including U.S. Representative Duncan
Hunter, a Republican from California, say he drove there in his
pick-up truck with three registered firearms after making a wrong
turn and never meant to enter Mexico.
About 75 of Tahmooressi's supporters demonstrated on Wednesday
evening on the U.S. side of the border crossing to call for his
Also on Wednesday, Tahmooressi made a court appearance after firing
his attorney, said Gina Loudon, a supporter in contact with his
mother Jill. The former attorney had counseled Tahmooressi to lie
and say he had never before used that border crossing and had only
recently arrived in San Diego so was unfamiliar with the area, when
neither of those details was true, she said.
"It seems to me that waiting two months for a hearing that goes
nowhere isn't justice for Andrew," said Loudon, who also contends
Tahmooressi's arrival at the border was accidental.
"He did everything he could to tell the whole world, 'Oh my God I
made a mistake,'" Loudon said. "He called 911 and said, 'I
accidentally made a wrong turn and ended up in Mexico and I have all
He had 400 rounds of ammunition in the truck, she
[to top of second column]
Earlier this month, Alejandro Gonzalez, the Mexican customs
administrator in Tijuana, told a local television station the former
Marine did not cross into Mexico by accident and did not say when he
arrived that he had weapons.
Tahmooressi was transferred from a jail in Tijuana to a facility in
nearby Tecate where he is isolated from other inmates after he
expressed fear of being attacked, Mexican officials said in a
statement when he was moved earlier this month.
Hunter in a May 12 letter asked U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck
Hagel to consider suspending military training and equipment
assistance to Mexico until Tahmooressi's case is resolved.
(Additional reporting by Lizbeth Díaz in Mexico City, Writing by
Alex Dobuzinskis, Editing by Ken Wills)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.