Free Jason Puracal, an Innocent American in Nicaraguan Prison
  • Petitioned Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker

This petition was delivered to:

Nicaragua Ambassador to the United States
Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker
Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nicaragua
Samuel Santos
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Roberta S. Jacobson
Former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton

Free Jason Puracal, an Innocent American in Nicaraguan Prison

    1. Petition by

      Janis Puracal

      Seattle, WA

September 2012


On September 14, 2012, American Jason Puracal was released from the Nicaraguan prison where he spent two years after being framed and convicted on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. More than 100,000 people signed the petition started by Jason's sister Janis and supporters, calling on the Nicaraguan government to release Jason. Thanks in part to these actions, Jason was finally reunited with his wife, son, and family on September 14.

Jason Puracal is an American citizen who is literally fighting for his life in a maximum security prison in Nicaragua. He has been wrongfully imprisoned there since November 2010 - sentenced to 22 years on sham charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime.

Not one shred of evidence was found linking him to any of these illegal activities. After nine months of unlawful delays, on August 29, 2011, Jason was declared guilty in a closed door trial that barred the media and family members from attending. Today he struggles to survive in a deadly prison called La Modelo.

Jason has repeatedly declared his innocence and the prosecution’s own witnesses at trial demonstrated that he did not commit the crimes with which he was charged. The police witnesses testified they never recovered any drugs in his possession or in his office, home, or truck.

The independent California Innocence Project, which reviews some 2,000 cases from inmates claiming wrongful conviction annually, chose Jason’s case as one of 10 it agreed to work on this year.

Right now Jason is languishing in a small, filthy cell with seven other men. The prison officials have denied him edible food and drinkable water on a daily basis. As a result, he has lost more than 30 pounds. A hole in the corner of the cell serves as toilet, sink, and shower drain. Exposed electrical wires frequently spark inside the cell. Also, an inmate was recently murdered by another inmate just feet from Jason’s cell.

Wrongful convictions occur in every criminal justice system around the world, but if we, as a global neighborhood, shine a light on the cases, perpetrators (such as the Nicaraguan police and convicting judge, in this case) will think twice before wrongfully convicting another innocent American.

We ask you to sign this petition to demand that the Nicaraguan Government will both ensure the case is thoroughly and independently reviewed by prosecutors, and immediately improve the conditions under which Jason is detained.

Jason's family is struggling financially to keep their defense effort alive. After you sign this petition, you can donate at:"



Recent signatures


    1. Spokesman: Jason Puracal leaves Nicaragua

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      A representative for a U.S. citizen who won an appeal after being jailed for nearly two years on drug and money-laundering charges says he has left the country after his release from prison.

      Jason Puracal is out of Nicaragua but his family will not for the time being release any information about how he left or where he is, said Brad Chase, a spokesman for the David House Agency, a crisis-management firm that has been helping Puracal's family.

    2. Jason's Conviction Annulled! He is out of prison but still in Nicaragua.

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Jason Puracal has been released from prison in Nicaragua, but is prohibited from leaving the country, according to his legal team.
      On Wednesday, a three-judge appellate panel in Granada, Nicaragua vacated his conviction and 22-year prison sentence on charges that he laundered drug money.

      The Nicaraguan prison received Puracal's release order Thursday morning and acted on it late in the afternoon. However, Eric Volz, managing director of the David House Agency, said in a statement that Puracal was on orders not to leave Nicaragua.

      Read more:

    3. Reached 100,000 signatures
    4. Appeals process begins for Jason

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      A U.S. citizen serving a 22-year prison sentence in Nicaragua for drug trafficking and money laundering, who a United Nations group has said was wrongly convicted, appeared in court on Thursday for the start of a long-awaited appeals proceeding.

      In a brief statement before the court, Jason Puracal maintained his innocence, saying he hoped justice would prevail.

      Read the full story here:

    5. VIDEO: Eric Volz on AC360

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      American Eric Volz was wrongfully convicted in Nicaragua and sentenced to 30 years. His conviction was overturned and now he's trying to help Jason Puracal who was sentenced to 22 years in the same notorious prison. Puracal claims he's innocent and there's no evidence to prove otherwise.

      Anderson Cooper talks to Volz and Jeffrey Toobin about Puracal's options, and what to expect from his appeal hearing later this month.

    6. VIDEO: Jason on AC360 Last Night

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Anderson Cooper talks to Jason Puracal, who was sentenced to 22 years in a notorious prison.

      Eric Volz will be on the show tonight so be sure to tune in!

    7. U.S. Congress urges Nicaragua's Ortega to review Puracal case

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Members of U.S. Congress have sent a letter to the President of Nicaragua, urging that he order an independent review in the case of a Tacoma man who claims he has been wrongly imprisoned in the country.

      The letter to President Daniel Ortega was signed by 43 members of Congress, including Representative Adam Smith of Washington, who has demanded that the government show evidence of Jason Puracal's guilt or set him free.

    8. Through imprisoned Tacoma man, Eric Volz relives his hell

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Since the arrest and imprisonment of Jason Puracal, a U.S. citizen who was living in Nicaragua, Eric Volz has tried to keep his involvement in the fight to free him a secret. Until now.

      You have to understand that Volz had once sat in the very prison in which Puracal now resides: La Modelo, it's called, "the model" penitentiary. No one knew better than he the danger Puracal was in.

    9. Jason Puracal Thanks Supporters

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      More than 80,000 people from around the world are now calling for the release of Jason Puracal, an American jailed in Nicaragua on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime. Without a shred of evidence, Jason was convicted...


      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Last week saw a unique face off between a former Attorney General of Canada and Attorney General of Nicaragua over Jason's case.

      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. 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.

    11. Family petitions UN for help in case of man imprisoned in Nicaragua

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Calls to free a Western Washington native imprisoned in Nicaragua are taking on new urgency.

      The family of Jason Puracal says his health is deteriorating as he waits for a new trial on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime.

      The family has petitioned the United Nations to ask for intervention from a Special Rapporteur on Torture.

    12. Reached 75,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • about 2 years ago

      Just the living conditions alone are enough to get me involved. Even if he is guilty, he is entitled to edible food and potable water.

    • darian jordan WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ
      • about 2 years ago


    • Mary ann Stafford SELMA, OR
      • about 2 years ago

      He is an American in another country where he stands no chance of being free, he is a human being that needs his family .

    • Brett Golightly BOSSIER CITY, LA
      • about 2 years ago

      THIS petition needs signatures to CEASE & DESIST ALL testing on animals... Just saddening and sickening this crap still happens

    • Desiree LeMmon LAS VEGAS, NV
      • about 2 years ago

      its just wrong for an innocent man to be behind bars


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