The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US is calling for a nationwide boycott of Mexican products and travel until Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is released from a Mexican jail. Tahmooressi has been held in Mexico since March 31.
Update 20140625 21:45 EDT: Andrew Tahmooressi’s mother Jill Tahmooressi responds to the VFW boycott:
“The family values the opinions of the VFW,” Jill Tahmooressi told American Military News
Rep Duncan Hunter has called for stopping military aid to Mexico. American Military News asked VFW why they are taking the risk of calling for a boycott.
“There is so much going on that this Marine is getting lost in the noise. We want to make sure that does not happen.” — Joe Davis of VFW
“What we need to do is create noise,” said Joe Davis, VFW Public Affairs Director. “We need to create a dialog between our government and the Mexican government to get Tahmooressi released. Look at what’s happening in Washington, DC right now. You’ve got the IRS, you’ve got the Department of Veterans Affairs. You’ve got Iraq. You’ve got immigrant children crossing the border. You still have a war being fought in Afghanistan. There is so much going on that this Marine is getting lost in the noise. We want to make sure that does not happen.”
Sign the petition at BringHomeOurMarine.com
Supporters of a boycott could also lend their voice to the growing crowd calling for Tahmooressi’s release by signing the American Military News petition at BringHomeOurMarine.com.
“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’s reluctance to release him unharmed back to the U.S.”
As America’s oldest and largest major combat veterans’ organization, the VFW said in a statement, the organization wants to apply economic pressure to the Mexican government because Tahmooressi’s arrest and captivity is mirroring that of former Marine Jon Hammer, who was arrested for carrying an antique shotgun across the border in August 2012, despite having proper American paperwork. He wasn’t released until four months later.
Thien said the VFW tried the politically polite route by twice asking President Obama to contact Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, but a phone call specifically about the Marine sergeant never took place. Now that Tahmooressi is approaching his third full month in jail, the VFW national commander said it’s time to take the gloves off.
“This is about politics, and if my government won’t 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.”