Chairman Royce Writes Mexico’s Foreign Secretary, Urges Quick Resolution for U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi

Jun 5, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Mexico’s Foreign Secretary, Dr. Jose Antonio Meade Kuribeña, expressing his deep concern over the March arrest and subsequent detention of U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi.  Royce urged that the case of Mr. Tahmooressi, who is currently being held in a Mexican prison, “be resolved expeditiously.”
 
In the letter to Foreign Minister Kuribeña, Chairman Royce wrote: “As Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, I am respectful of Mexico’s laws and sovereignty, and remain committed to advancing our bilateral relationship.  Given the extenuating circumstances surrounding Mr. Tahmooressi’s erroneous arrival at the Mexican border, and the fact that he requires specific and immediate treatment for PTSD, I respectfully ask that you convey to the appropriate authorities in Mexico my fervent hope that his case be resolved expeditiously, so that he may begin treatment posthaste.”
 
The signed letter is available HERE.
 
The text of the letter follows:
 
June 4, 2014
 
Dr. Jose Antonio Meade Kuribeña
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
United Mexican States
 
Dear Foreign Secretary Kuribeña:
 
I am writing to express my deep concern for U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who was arrested at the Mexican border on March 31, 2014, and is currently being held in the El Hongo II prison in Tecate, Mexico.  Mr. Tahmooressi inadvertently arrived at the Mexican border in his vehicle that contained a number of his possessions, including firearms registered in his name in the United States of America.  He was not attempting to enter Mexico, but became confused and took a wrong turn that landed him on Mexican territory.  I have been following Mr. Tahmooressi’s case closely, and one of my Committee staff members recently met with him to discuss his situation.
 
Andrew Tahmooressi is a U.S. Marine Corps reservist who, after honorably serving two combat tours in Afghanistan, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)  Mr. Tahmooressi’s diagnosed PTSD presents itself in hyper-vigilance, memory and cognition lapses, and depression.   His suicide attempt while incarcerated in the La Mesa penitentiary in Tijuana was a manifestation of this disorder, and underscores the need for this young man to immediately begin treatment at a clinic specialized in combat related PTSD in the United States of America.
 
As Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, I am respectful of Mexico’s laws and sovereignty, and remain committed to advancing our bilateral relationship.  Given the extenuating circumstances surrounding Mr. Tahmooressi’s erroneous arrival at the Mexican border, and the fact that he requires specific and immediate treatment for PTSD, I respectfully ask that you convey to the appropriate authorities in Mexico my fervent hope that his case be resolved expeditiously, so that he may begin treatment posthaste.
 
I turn to you for assistance in seeing this case resolved in short order, and look forward to continued and necessary efforts to improve security along our common border.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
EDWARD R. ROYCE
Chairman
 

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