Surfing provided the only respite.
Hammar carried a .410-bore Sears & Roebuck shotgun that had been in his family for decades. His family said U.S. Border and Customs Protection agents in Brownsville, Texas, asked him to fill out a registration form for the shotgun and indicated it would be no problem to carry it into Mexico.
Mexican authorities immediately threw Hammar into a state prison, where fellow inmates belonging to Los Zetas, a feared organized crime group, sought to extort money from his family, saying that if they didn’t pay Hammar would be killed.
“They take a real hands-off approach. Unless your life is at threat, they aren’t going to do anything,” Olivia Hammar said.
For Garcia and dozens of other Marines who’ve learned of Hammar’s plight, it’s hardly conceivable not to take action. “We never leave a brother behind. We never leave a Marine behind. We have to do something.”
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