Forty three U.S. Congressmen have signed on to a letter to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega urging him to review the case of American Jason Puracal. Mr. Puracal, a former Peace Corp volunteer, was working for Remax Real Estate Company in San Juan del Sur when his home and office where invaded by police. No evidence of drugs or any other criminal evidence was found, yet Mr Puracal was arrested, charged with drug trafficking and money laundering, and sentenced to 22 years in prison. At his trial, there was no evidence of drugs presented and the evidence of money laundering consisted of legitimate purchase agreements in the escrow account from the Remax Real Estate office. Mr. Puracal was not allowed to call witnesses for his defense.
The Congressman expressed their dismay at this wrongful conviction and also the fact that Mr. Puracal is being held in a crowded, unsanitary cell where he does not have access to clean water. They urged that the conviction and the conditions of confinement be reviewed.
Mr. Puracal’s case has received the support of many lawyers in the innocence project network including the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law in San Diego.