Concerned Americans rallied together outside of the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC today to protest the incarceration of U.S. citizen and Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, 25.
Protesters included representatives from Help Save Maryland, a grassroots citizens’ organization dedicated to providing facts regarding illegal aliens who live and/or work in Maryland. Each participant circled around the entrance of the Mexican Embassy with signs that said “bring our Marine home,” and they used a megaphone to amplify their demands.
Many protesters expressed frustration with the Mexican Government for not allowing Tahmooressi to return to the United States and they were also concerned that the Obama administration had not done enough to intervene, especially considering Tahmooressi’s service in the Marines.
Within an hour of the protest, Ariel Moutsatsos, head of press and public affairs at the Mexican Embassy, came out to the street to answer questions and to explain the reasons for Tahmooressi’s incarceration. Moutsatsos emphasized to his questioners that this issue is not a political or diplomatic issue; it is a law enforcement issue.
Andrew Tahmooressi was detained in Tijuana, Mexico on April 1st, 2014 after crossing the international border at the “El Chaparral” entry point in his pickup truck.
According to Mexican officials, Tahmooressi was carrying firearms and ammunition in his vehicle that may only be used by the Mexican armed forces and because of this violation of Mexican Law, a federal judge in Mexico ruled that he be imprisoned for his crime until the ongoing legal process and trial are complete.
At the time of Tahmooressi’s detainment, Mexican officials say he was carrying:
- 1 12-gauge shotgun loaded with four 12 caliber rounds
- 1 5.56-caliber rifle loaded with a 30 round clip
- 2 boxes of ammunition, one with twenty-seven rounds, and the other with eleven rounds, both 12-gauge
- 1 45 caliber pistol, loaded with ten 45-caliber rounds
- 2 45-caliber clips, one with seven 45-caliber rounds
- 2 5.56-caliber clips, one with twenty-three rounds and the other with 30rounds
- 300 5.56-caliber rounds
Moutsatsos affirmed that Tahmooressi is currently detained at the “El Hongo No. 2” Center for Social Reinsertion in Tecate, Baja California and that althoughhis physical integrity has been protected, he has suffered self-inflicted wounds due to two attempts to escape.
Many citizens, including dozens of Congressmen and veterans groups and those protesting today have called for his release. A petition sent to the White House contained 123,797 signatures in support of bringing Tahmooressi home.