Rally for jailed Marine to coincide with Mexican president’s visit

A protest rally is planned Tuesday in Sacramento to call for a Marine to be freed from a jail in Mexico, where he’s being held on weapons charges.

Organized by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino), the rally is set for 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. outside the Leland Stanford Governor’s Mansion Museum.

The rally is timed to coincide with a visit to Sacramento by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who will be attending a luncheon hosted by Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown.

Donnelly, who ran unsuccessfully for governor this year, said it is “unforgivable” that Brown has not joined other officials in calling for Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi to be freed from a Mexican prison.

Donnelly declined an invitation to attend the luncheon, as did state Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine).


“I do not have an appetite for foreign officials who deny U.S. citizens their basic human rights,” Anderson said.

Donnelly hopes that upward of 500 protesters will be in the street outside the governor’s mansion with signs and American flags.

Tahmooressi, 25, a reservist, has been jailed since April 1 after being arrested for bringing weapons into Mexico. He has had two hearings before a federal judge in Tijuana, with another planned possibly next month.

Tahmooressi, who served two tours in Afghanistan, insists he crossed the border by mistake after missing the last exit at San Ysidro. He is being held in El Hongo prison outside Tecate, without bail.

He was arrested after Mexican customs agents found a rifle, shotgun, pistol and about 500 rounds of ammunition in his pickup truck after he crossed the border at San Ysidro.

After his second hearing, Tahmooressi’s attorney announced plans to file a motion seeking a mistrial, based on allegations that the customs agents who arrested Tahmooressi violated Mexican procedure by not providing him with a translator and not getting a judge’s approval before searching his truck.

Tahmooressi had recently moved to San Diego from Florida to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mexican officials have said that the court case against Tahmooressi will be decided by the judicial system, not by Mexican political officials or by pressure from the U.S.

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