Marine's family and politicians plead for his release
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The family and friends of US Marine veteran Jon Hammar are joining a local congresswoman in calling for his release from a Mexican jail.
The 27-year-old grew up in Palmetto Bay and joined the Marines right out of high school. He was inspired to join after Sept. 11 and was determined to serve his country. He was on leave with some friends, when they decided to take a vacation to Mexico. Their troubles began after they crossed the border into Mexico in a Winnebago in August.
They were planning to do some hunting, so he packed a shotgun typically used to hunt birds. As he crossed the border from the American side, he checked in with authorities and asked if he was allowed to bring the gun into the country. There he was told, yes, and that he would just have to fill out some paperwork once he crossed over into Mexico, but it turned out that was not the case. When Mexican authorities saw the weapon that Hammer and his friends planned to use for hunting, they were all immediately arrested, some have since been released, but Jon has been in a Mexican jail ever since because he was the owner of the gun.
His parents and family and even friends are coming forward in hopes that local and national politicians will get involved and plead for the release of their son. Jessica Fernandez is among those fighting for the Marine's release. "President Obama, if you're listening, we need you to advocate for Jon Hammer."
His mom spoke about a special number he has written down, where he can call someone to come get him if he is let out of jail. His mother Olivia Hammar said the number is written down in a Bible Jon now holds near and dear to him.
"He said I wrote it in my bible, and my husband said, 'They may not let you take anything out,' and Jon said, 'They are not taking my bible,'" said Hammar's mother.
Although Hammar's father has only been able to see him once, his family says he is able to call them every now and then.
Hammar remains in isolation in a Mexican prison, and his family hopes local politicians like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen can draw enough attention for Jon's release. "This is not Pakistan we are dealing with," said Ros-Lehtinen. "This is our friendly neighbor to the south who we have cordial relations."
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