MEXICO CITY — An American Marine veteran who spent the past four months in a Mexican prison for crossing the border with a shotgun will be released on Friday, according to his family and lawmakers who came to his aid, ending an ordeal that had heightened tensions between the Mexican and American governments.
Relatives of the detainee, Jon Hammar, 27, who was arrested Aug. 13 when he and a friend drove to Mexico from Texas in a motor home, described his release as a holiday surprise.
“It’s like a miracle, that’s the only way I can express it,” said his mother, Olivia Hammar, who lives in Florida. “It’s our little Christmas miracle.”
She said that her husband had flown to Brownsville, Tex. — just across the border from Matamoros, where her son has been in prison — and that she expected her son to be home by Christmas. She added that his arrival might be delayed past Friday because even after a horrendous four months, enduring death threats and ransom demands from members of Mexican drug cartels, her son was determined to get back the confiscated 1972 Winnebago that he drove to Mexico in the first place.