AM Alert: Mexican president’s visit stirs up controversy over jailed U.S. Marine
08/26/2014 5:00 AM
10/22/2014 2:22 PM
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto wraps up his two-day tour of California in Sacramento today, where he’ll attend a noon luncheon at the Stanford Mansion hosted by Gov. Jerry Brown and address a joint session of the Legislature at 2:45 p.m. in the Assembly chamber.
The visit won’t be without at least some drama, tied to the March arrest of Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who crossed into Mexico carrying three firearms and is now being held in a Tijuana prison on weapons charges.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who rallied for Tahmooressi during his unsuccessful run for governor this spring, plans to lead a protest outside the Stanford Mansion during Peña Nieto’s luncheon, demanding the jailed Marine’s release.
Last week, the Twin Peaks Republican wrote Brown a letter expressing “my deep disappointment that you would entertain the President of a nation that is holding an active-duty US Marine captive.” He also slammed Brown for not visiting Tahmooressi during a July trade trip to Mexico. “Instead of negotiating the release of an American Marine, you negotiated the terms of the surrender of our sovereignty,” Donnelly wrote.
Other lawmakers, including state Sen. Joel Anderson, also plan to boycott the event. “I do not have an appetite for foreign officials who deny US citizens their basic human rights,” the Alpine Republican said in a statement.
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