On July 3, 2014, I wrote about U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who has been jailed in Mexico since March 31 of this year.
Without the ability to turn around before he crossed the border, he proceeded to the Mexican customs post where he explained that he missed the exit before the crossing, and volunteered that he had three U.S. legal guns in the vehicle. After that, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was arrested and charged with gun smuggling into Mexico.
More than 500 armed Mexican military and law enforcement personnel have crossed the U.S. border without permission over the past decade, raising questions over why a U.S. Marine remains jailed in Mexico for a similar offense under catastrophic conditions.
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who has been held in Mexico’s prison system since March, had a court hearing on his case last Wednesday, and on Thursday the federal Mexican judge, Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo, ruled that he must stay behind bars for a further time period — at least until another hearing expected later in the summer sometime in August.
Hundreds of thousands of people are crossing the border from Mexico to the U.S.; they claim they are unaccompanied children, but I see faces of lots of adults. But let’s assume the majority are children; still they continue crossing with the blessings of our government and they don’t move a finger on behalf of a U.S. Marine.
The Honduran foreign minister, Mireya Aguero de Corrales, suggested minors from her country should be granted special status to stay in the United States on “humanitarian grounds.”
THEY can continue crossing, but our Marine remains in jail in Mexico. And all those crossing illegally are expecting steak and lobster from us? Humanitarian grounds? Complaining about the food they are receiving? Complaining that they have to sleep on the floor? For God’s sake, they have been sleeping in hammocks since the day they were born.
What Americans might find surprising is that Sgt. Tahmooressi “only gets a piece of bread and some sugar water for dinner.” Lunches are a little better, Tahmooressi said, with some chicken or beef. And beans are served, too, he said.Are they talking about humanitarian grounds?
Do we need to laugh or cry? What about humanitarian grounds for Sgt. Tahmooressi?
In a letter I received from U.S. Senator Dean Heller, dated June 30, 2014, third paragraph, in response to a correspondence I sent about my deep concerns for the fate of Sgt. Tahmooressi, some member of the Senator’s staff (because I don’t believe the Senator wrote the letter himself) wrote: “ I have forwarded your concerns to the State Department and asked them to respond to your concerns directly.”Nothing I hate more than when someone insults my intelligence by passing the buck, especially someone I voted for, such as Senator Dean Heller.
If the State Department has not had the decency to contact Sgt. Tahmooressi — an honorably discharged marine who served two tours in Afghanistan — at the lousy Mexican jail where he is being treated like a fifth class citizen, what makes the good Senator believe the State Department is going to answer my letter of concern?
Doesn’t the United States government have any more Talibans (or Mexicans, for that matter) to exchange for Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi?
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky, email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.