The desperate parents of a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned to the American public for help. Jon Hammar, 27, has been held in a Mexican prison in Matamoros for the past four months, and the U.S. Consulate and State Department have provided minimal help.
Hammar and a friend were on their way to Costa Rica for a surfing trip. Hammar brought an antique shotgun along to go hunting with, and filled all the proper paperwork out at the U.S. Custom’s checkpoint. However, when he crossed the border into Mexico, he was immediately arrested for having a weapon that does not comply with Mexico’s “gun laws.” Fox News reported Hammar was “charged with an aggravated felony punishable up to 15 years in prison.”
Hammar’s parents received a ransom call demanding $1800, and Jon told his father, “They’re serious, Dad. I’ll pay you back; they are going to kill me.” The parents also said their son had been chained to his bed for days at a time.
The prison is under the control of the extremely violent and dangerous Los Zetas and Gulf drug cartels, and the Hammer’s fear for their son’s life.
The parents had kept the story out of the press due to concern’s for their son’s safety. Now, after four long months, they have asked the American public for help in the hope that public pressure will get their son released.
Watch a CBS News Online interview with the family here: