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Mexican AG Defends Due Process Treatment Of US Marine Held In Local Prison

The Mexican Attorney General defended the process initiated against a U.S. Marine accused of smuggling weapons and detained in a Mexican jail for more than two months after crossing the border with three firearms in his trunk.

In a statement Friday, the Attorney General’s Office in Mexico said that over the last two months that Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been held at a Tijuana prison, his rights have been respected and maintained that ignorance of the laws does not take away responsibility.

“In Mexico, as in the United States, the ignorance of the law, errors, misperceptions or misunderstandings on the consequences of the violating the, does not exempt people from their responsibility,” the Mexican office continued in a statement.

Tahmooressi, 25, claims he was arrested by Mexican police on March 31 after crossing the border accidentally on his way to dinner with some friends. His case has attracted the attention of several U.S. officials.

Police found a pistol, a shotgun, and a rifle, plus rounds of ammunition in Tahmooressi’s car, according to the Attorney General.

He served four years in the Marines, including two tours in Afghanistan. Tahmooressi said he received an honorable discharge in November 2012.

The Marine said that he had no intentions of crossing the border. He said he passed an exit on his way to visit friends in a suburb of San Diego.

During his arrest, he was sent to a jail in Tijuana. A few days ago she was transferred to another jail near Tecate.

The Attorney General’s Office said that Tahmooressi has displayed “violent behavior,” and also has attempted to escape on two occasions. He further alleged that Tahmooressi injured himself, prompting authorities to take him to a medical facililty, where is under observation.

He added that Tahmooressi has been visited by embassy officials, his attorneys, his mother and his pastor, as well as U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, an Arizona Republican.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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