This article was written and submitted by Eric Volz. Volz is the managing director of The David House Agency – a U.S.- based, strategic resource organization supporting individuals facing injustice abroad. Their expertise lies in managing cases in which political and cultural undertones complicate the judicial process. Other cases in which he and his organization have been involved in include: Amanda Knox and Rafaelli Solecito (Italy), The Hikers (Iran), Jason Puracal (Nicaragua), Amir Hekmati (Iran), as well as international child custody and parental kidnapping matters. Volz is also the author of Gringo Nightmare. Visit his website here.
The wrongful conviction of Jason Puracal in Nicaragua is monumental and serves as a chilling milestone in the emerging trend of international “show” trials. This case has serious implications for citizens of the Global North studying, working, traveling, or retiring abroad.
In short, 10 years ago, Jason Puracal moved to Nicaragua to serve in the Peace Corp. He fell in love with the country, its people, and the woman that would become his wife. Today, he is struggling to survive the fight of his life. He has been held in a Nicaraguan prison since November 2010 on sham charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime. There is no evidence
linking him to any crimes. Held for over nine months in subhuman conditions before he went to trial, this September he was convicted and sentenced to 22-years in prison – by a “judge” was not even a licensed attorney, in violation with Nicaraguan and international law. (click to see Jason Z. Puracal v. Government of Nicaragua
Jason Puracal with family
While he waits his appeal, he is slowly dying in prison. He has been denied food, water, and proper medical care. He suffered from infections caused by the inhumane prison conditions and has developed an inflammatory condition due to the bacteria in the food. His family is concerned he will not live long enough see his own appeal.
Last week saw a unique f
ace off between a former Attorney General of Canada and Attorney General of Nicaragua over the case of this American. Former Attorney General of Canada, and private counsel to Nelson Mandela, Irwin Cotler, addressed a powerful letter to the Attorney General of Nicaragua, Julio Centeno, urging him to order a review of Jason’s wrongful conviction. Read letter here
. The letter notes as well that the California Innocence Project has formally accepted the case.
Centeno responded in the press claiming that the conviction was delivered according to law.
Stay tuned to the WC Blog for future updates on the case.
La condena injusta de Jason Puracal en Nicaragua es monumental y sirve como un marco escalofriante en la nueva tendencia de los secuestros institutionales al nivel internacional. Este caso tiene serias implicaciones para los ciudadanos de países desarollados quienes, estudian, trabajan, viajan, o se retiran en el extranjero.
La semana pasada vío un rostro único de entre un ex fiscal general de Canadá, y el fiscal general de Nicaragua acerca del caso de este estadounidense. El ex Fiscal General de Canadá, y el consejo privado a Nelson Mandela, Irwin Cotler, dirigió una carta poderosa a la fiscal general de Nicaragua, Julio Centeno, sugiriendole a ordenar una revisión de la condena injusta de Jason Puracal. Centeno respondió en la prensa diciendo que la condena haya sido entregada de acuerdo a la ley.