Mother of US Marine held in Mexico tells Congress her son has been threatened with torture

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Former U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi (R) is escorted to a federal court in Tijuana August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

The mother of a U.S. Marine held for six months in a Mexican prison appealed on Wednesday for the U.S. government to do more to free her son, who told her his guards threatened him with rape, torture and execution.

Andrew Tahmooressi, 26, was arrested on March 31 by Mexican customs agents who found three guns in his pick-up truck at a border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana. He was charged with weapons offenses and has been imprisoned in Mexico ever since.

His case has drawn the attention of U.S. lawmakers, who took the unusual step of scheduling a House of Representatives hearing during a congressional recess in the hope of putting pressure on Mexico and on President Barack Obama’s administration to intervene more urgently in the case.

“My son is despondent, without treatment, and he needs to be home,” his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, said at the hearing.

She said her son told her the Mexican guards had threatened to rape, torture and execute him to obtain her personal information. And he had urged her to “go underground,” cancelling her bank accounts and not come to Mexico, fearing that she would be killed.

Mexican authorities deny that Tahmooressi has been mistreated.

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