- Francisco Obadiah Campbell HookerNicaragua Ambassador to the United States
- Samuel SantosMinister of Foreign Affairs in Nicaragua
- Roberta S. JacobsonActing Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Free Jason Puracal, an Innocent American in Nicaraguan Prison
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: www.FreeJasonP.com"
- Nicaragua Ambassador to the United States
Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker
- Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nicaragua
- Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Roberta S. Jacobson
- Former Secretary of State
I am writing this letter to convey my serious concern regarding the wrongful conviction and ongoing mistreatment of an American citizen, Jason Puracal.
He has been imprisoned in Nicaragua since November 2010 - sentenced to 22 years in prison 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 with depression, despair, and hopelessness in a maximum security prison called La Modelo.
This case sets a dangerous precedent for all foreigners traveling, working, and retiring abroad. If it is this easy to label a case “a drug case” even when there are no drugs recovered, there is great risk to all of us who travel outside the U.S.
Jason has lost everything - his family, business, and reputation - while he awaits justice that has long been delayed. Jason is a father of a young son, a husband, a brother, and a fellow American. I stand united with his family until Jason receives a fair, timely, and legitimate appeal.
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