SAN DIEGO, CA – Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is honored to assist in today’s release of Andrew Tahmooressi, the U.S. Marine veteran that was held in a Mexican prison since April. Richardson has been in the San Diego/Tijuana area this week advocating for Andrew’s release and will escort Andrew and his mother back home.
Governor Richardson was instrumental in the release efforts and will accompany Andrew and his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, following his release, on a private flight back to Florida. The Governor’s foundation, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement has worked closely on this case and has provided the chartered flight that will bring Andrew home.
Last week, Richardson visited the former U.S. Marine Sergeant at El Hongo Federal Prison in Mexico, “I feel that the Baja California corrections officers and the Mexican government have been very helpful. I respect Mexico’s judicial process, and I am pleased that Andrew was released today and will return home to his family.” As per his conversations with Andrew while in prison, Governor Richardson will ask Congress to fund programs that allow veterans, especially those returning from combat a period of time to decompress before returning to civilian life.
Andrew’s release has been a bipartisan effort, “I would like to thank Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Congressman Matt Salmon (R-AZ) for joining forces on this effort; the thousands of Andrew’s supporters that have diligently advocated for his release namely via social media; and special thanks to Andrew’s mother, Jill, who has truly quarterbacked the efforts to bring her son home. Thanks to Montel Williams for his fierce advocacy for all Andrew and all veterans with PTSD. The Center’s Senior Mexican Advisor, Juan Massey and Jonathan Franks of Lucid PR have worked diligently with Mexican officials over the past few months advocating for the safe return of Sgt. Tahmooressi; they will also be on the flight today with Andrew. Today’s charter flight has been provided by the generosity of Johnny and Marty Cope of New Mexico.
Andrew and his mother will return to Florida late in the day on Friday. “This is a time for Andrew Tahmooressi to decompress and be with his family. I would like thank the Mexican Government and Baja Corrections Department for Andrew’s treatment and congratulate Andrew’s legal defense on a job well done. Governor Richardson advocated early on with Mexican leaders for a humanitarian release based on Andrew’s PTSD, an argument that was successfully implemented by his legal defense team to persuade the judge to dismiss the case in a court of law.”
The Richardson Center for Global Engagement promotes global peace and dialogue by identifying and working on areas of opportunity for engagement and citizen diplomacy with countries and communities not usually open to more formal diplomatic channels. One of the Richardson Center’s top missions it assisting and negotiating for the release of political prisoners, detainees and hostages around the globe.