Know, there is no such thing as a "former" Marine like the typical reporters write below. Here is some interesting numbers here in the States like the Mexican Embassey contact number at the end of this post.
A former U.S. Marine who took off on a surfing adventure to Costa Rica
in August is stuck in a Mexican jail just over the border from Texas,
and his family is calling for his release.
Ex-Marine Jon Hammar headed south with fellow veteran Ian McDonough on
what was supposed to be a few months of surfing and camping in a
Winnebago in Costa Rica. The two had recently finished a treatment
program for post-traumatic stress disorder, which Hammar suffered after
fighting in Fallujah, Afghanistan, according to his mother, Olivia
"The treatment's very exhausting, it's a tough program, and he was there
almost nine months," said Olivia Hammar. "(They) decided they were
going to buy an R.V., fix it up, drive down to Costa Rica through
Mexico, and we were very nervous about it. We tried to discourage it, to
tell him to take a plane, but they said, 'We're taking nine surfboards
and need a place to stay.'"
Hammar and McDonough arrived on the border between Mexico and Texas on
August 15. Hammar, however, had packed his great grandfather's shotgun, a
.410 Sears and Roebuck model nearly 100 years old. Hammar had hoped to
hunt small birds with it while living in Costa Rica, Olivia said. The
pair wanted to register the gun with Mexican authorities at the crossing
"There were signs that said you can't take a firearm, and so Ian said
scrap it, don't take it, but Johnny said, 'Let's talk to the customs
agent,'" according to Olivia. "They said, 'Technically you can (bring it
across) but you'll need to register it,' and had (Johnny) fill out
paperwork to present to Mexican officials."
The gun was meant for hunting, but border officials arrested the pair on
federal charges of having a weapon that is reserved for military use.
McDonough was released when Hammar claimed the gun was his.
Olivia and Jon Hammar, Sr., hired local lawyers to defend their son in
Matamoros, Mexico, where Hammar was taken to state prison. The U.S.
State Department was notified by Mexican authorities the following day,
according to a department official who spoke on background.
But once Hammar was in prison, his family said they began receiving
irregular phone calls from Hammar, sometimes in the middle of the night,
and sometimes accompanied by other prisoners demanding money.
"Almost immediately we began receiving extortion calls from cartel
members in prison with him," Olivia said. The State Department and
Hammar's lawyer, Eddie Varon Levy, would not comment on the claim about
"They're saying, 'You need to wire us money or we're going to kill your
son, we've already f—ed him up,' and initially I thought it was a
scam, but then they put him on the phone and he was breathless and I
knew they had," Olivia said. "He said, 'You need to do whatever they
say. I'm so sorry. I'll pay you back.'"
Olivia and Jon Sr. say that, filled with panic, they contacted the U.S.
consulate in Matamoros, Mexico, which arranged to have Hammar isolated
from the general prison population. They were advised not to pay any
ransom money, Olivia Hammar said.
A State Department official said, "The safety and well being of Mr.
Hammar is a serious matter…. We requested he be moved away from the
general prison population, and prison authorities granted that request.
Now, he is in a separate room with constant contact with prison
Mexico Embassy , United States
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue
District of Columbia