VFW calls for boycott of Mexico until jailed Marine is freed

Andrew Tahmooressi // Family Photo

A nationwide veterans group is calling for a nationwide boycott of Mexican products and travel south of the border until former Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is released from a jail.

Tahmooressi made international headlines when Mexican police in Tijuana arrested him with three guns in his truck back in late March.

The veteran claims he was driving near the California/Mexico border where he reported making a wrong turn that took him to Tijuana.

Many are calling for his release saying he made an innocent wrong turn and was not trying to smuggle the weapons into Mexico.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is calling for a boycott of Mexico and Mexican products until Tahmooressi has been freed.

This combat Marine has been languishing away since he was arrested March 31 for allegedly crossing the border accidentally with three personal firearms that were legally registered in the States but not in Mexico, said VFW National Commander William A. Thien. It was a mistake, but so is the Mexican government TMs reluctance to release him unharmed back to the U.S.

The VFW is America TMs oldest and largest major combat veterans TM organization.

Just earlier this month, VFW had called for the jailed former marine's release but are now going a step further.

The incident involving Tahmooressi follows the saga of former Marine Jon Hammar, who was arrested for carrying an antique shotgun across the border in Matamoros back in August 2012.

Despite having proper American paperwork for the weapon, Hammar wasn TMt released until four months later.

VFW Commander Thien said the his organization tried the politically polite route by twice asking President Barack Obama to contact Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Thien reported that a diplomatic phone call specifically about the Marine sergeant never took place prompting his organization to go one step further.

"This is about politics, and if my government won TMt do anything, then I guess we need to let the power of the purse take over. No products, no travel, a total boycott | then maybe a dialogue will start," Thien said.