Statement on the Release of James Frisvold from Mexico

Governor Bill Richardson and the Richardson Center are thrilled to announce that Navy veteran, James Frisvold, has been released from Mexico, today March 30, 2023, and is currently with the Richardson Center team, on his way home, to reunite with his mother Mariann.

James has been held in Guerrero, Mexico, for the last 13 years in a de-facto pretrial detention for a crime he did not commit. Two months ago, at the request of James’ mother, Mariann, Governor Richardson and the Richardson Center got involved and with careful and diligent engagement with the appropriate authorities in the State of Guerrero, secured James’ release.

“The State of Guerrero might have had a dark past, but the new Guerrero Administration and its Judicial system are working hard to clean-up, reform and correct old mistakes,” said Governor Richardson, “James’ release is evidence of that, and I am thankful for their collaboration.”

James’ safe return would not have been possible without the help of Jon Franks, who brought this case to our attention and has done a lot of the ground work needed. The release would also not be possible without the generous support of Steve Menzies and his Global Foundation; as well as Rodrigo Aguilar, who’s been working with us behind the scenes, and of course the Richardson Center’s team led by Mickey Bergman and Ana Aguilar Gray.

Governor Richardson would like to thank U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, and his team – Daria Darnell, Lauren Parish and especially Lauren Santa, of the American Citizens Services in Mexico City, for working around the clock in the last couple of days helping facilitate the emergency authorization needed to fly James home, in a timely manner.

The Richardson Center negotiates for the release of American political prisoners and hostages held in foreign countries. We work on behalf of the families and at no cost to them. The Richardson Center is greatly appreciative of our partners, including many private individuals and foundations who support and enable our work as a non-for-profit.