Accessibility links

Breaking News

Mother Says Former US Marine Needs Treatment, Not Mexican Prison

Jill Tahmooressi, mother of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi of Weston, Fla., who has been held for six months in a Mexican jail, weeps after reading his letters from confinement and as others recount his heroism in Afghanistan, during a House Foreign Affai

The mother of a former U.S. Marine in a Mexican prison on gun trafficking charges says the U.S. must do more to secure his release.

Jill Tahmooressi told a U.S. congressional hearing Wednesday that her 26-year-old son has been threatened by prison guards with rape, torture and execution since his arrest in March. She said he has post traumatic stress disorder relating to his military service and accidentally entered Mexico at a poorly marked border crossing.

Andrew Tahmooressi, who is now in the reserves, was arrested six months ago at a San Diego-Tijuana checkpoint. Mexican authorities say they found a rifle, shotgun, pistol and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his pickup truck.

Tahmooressi's mother said her son is “despondent” and urgently needs care for his PTSD.

U.S. lawmakers took the unusual step of scheduling a House of Representatives hearing during a congressional recess in the hope of putting pressure on Mexico and on President Barack Obama's administration to intervene more urgently in the case.

A White House spokesman said Obama has not called Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto because the State Department is handling the issue.

State Department officials say they are "deeply" concerned about Tahmooressi's case and are in close touch with Mexican authorities, but that every country has its own judicial process.