U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) made the following statement today after sending a letter to House colleagues asking them to speak in support of kidnapped U.S. Marine veteran Armando Torres. Corporal Torres was kidnapped on his father's ranch just across the U.S.-Mexico border over two months ago on May 14. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"I am greatly appreciative of the efforts for Corporal Torres thus far but it is more crucial than ever that more Members of the House stand in support of our kidnapped U.S. Marine Armando Torres. Taken over two months ago, Armando's kidnappers must hear the voice of the United States loud and clear and know that we will not rest until he is released and returned. I appeal to all of my colleagues in Congress to stand with me in support of Armando Torres and make clear that the United States will not and does not give up.
"I urge the Obama administration to make a public statement about Corporal Torres and I hope that Secretary Napolitano discussed his kidnapping with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong while in Mexico this week. Media coverage of Armando here and in Mexico is critical in making sure his kidnappers know they have the full attention of the United States government."
Secretary Napolitano was in Mexico City today with President Peña Nieto and in Matamoros, Mexico yesterday with Interior Secretary Osorio Chong, discussing border security. Corporal Torres was kidnapped very near the border city of Matamoros, in the rural community of La Barranca. The text of Rep. Ros-Lehtinen's letter to her colleagues is below.
Over the past few weeks, Marine veterans and Members of Congress have been rising in the House in support of a 25-year old U.S. Marine who desperately needs our help. Corporal Armando Torres was kidnapped while visiting his father's ranch in La Barranca, Tamaulipas, Mexico, just across the U.S. border, over two months ago on May 14. According to Armando's family, drug cartels may have been targeting Armando's father's ranch to use it as a transshipment point for drugs.
Attention to Armando's case is crucial to his release. Without loud and forceful support here and in Mexico, Armando's kidnappers will think that we have given up and do not have the necessary determination to secure his release. We must say loudly and clearly to Armando's kidnappers that their actions have gained the full attention of the United States government. We must show that we will not rest until Armando is returned to us safe and sound.
I ask that you join Marine veterans and colleagues here in the House in speaking on the floor or submitting a statement on behalf of Armando. The United States does not give up and does not leave one of our own behind.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT