(posted Sept. 17, 7:00 p.m.)- Jason Puracal, in his first interview since being deported from Nicaragua last Friday, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he still loves Nicaragua despite being wrongfully convicted and held behind bars here for two years.
“I still do love Nicaragua and I believe in its potential,” Puracal said in his CNN interview, which aired 10 minutes ago. “I love the people there.”
Puracal, 35, said that wrongful convictions happen everywhere in the world, “including the U.S.”
Puracal described his time inside La Modelo prison as a daily “fight for my life” against rapists, murders and “actual drug dealers.” He said when he was at his lowest points, he received strength from the tireless effort of his sisters and from the letters and emails brought to him in prison from total strangers.
Puracal thanked his sister Janice for “saving my life,” and thanked all his international supporters as well.
A video clip showed Puracal’s reunion with his wife, Scarleth, and his son, Jabu, in the airport.
Puracal, who appeared relatively collected and calm in the interview, said he doesn’t think his freedom has fully “set in yet.”