Puracal to CNN: ‘I still love Nicaragua’

(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.”

Jason Puracal (photo/ Tim Rogers)

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.”

  • Dan the Man

    Glad to see Jason is final free. The entire judicial system of Nicaragua is all an orchestrated smoke and mirrors performance. The Sandinistas try to give the appearance of impartiality but we all know the truth. Convictions of many innocent people without giving them the opportunity to provide a defense. I currently know two close friends from Belgium who are currently in their prison just for running a successful hotel business. I have known these two for years and they clearly are falsely imprisoned as the local National Policia have systematically stolen the contents of their hotel and resort property assets. They have the attitude if your rich, you must be dirty. Thus giving the National Policia the excuse to steal and misappropriate everything they have worked for. Nicaragua is not getting better. It is spiraling down into Ortegas corruption bank accounts. Look how many of the foreign convicted end up being released once the International pressure gets too hot. The sad part is many thousands off poor Nicaraguans who have no money still sit rotting in the prisons. Some truly guilty but many others are not. I am so glad Jason is free. But tourists beware !!!!!!

    • http://no Damian

      Tourist beware? Nicaragua is turning into the American continent’s scapegoat! In fact, it is a wonderful country full of tradition and history. It has amazing natural feature and and interesting political system. It’s growing and does a lot to satisfy investor/tourists/foreign residents to come to Nicaragua. It’s a safe country full of opportunity and is simply crazy to only bring the mistakes and errors in the spotlight. The majority of people of Nicaragua are hopeful, peaceful, energized and proud of their country. A lot of comments just profile Nicaragua like a bandit. Hopefully some focus can be made on the positive side of a less developed country like Nicaragua.

  • clock

    what about the non-gringos?
    there must be more to this story …..

  • Silvio Montes

    Jason’s realease was part of the US-Nicaragua negotiation that involved the property waiver and other issues!

  • M Ortega

    Personally, I see way too many able to still buy their way out of their prison times. …. and am sick and tired of it. Live here … follow the laws …. break them … then pay the time and get deported afterward.

    And to “Clock” … just what is a “non-gringo” because gringo = get out of my country. (literally: Green Go)

  • http://playaroca.com PRD

    It’s always about money. Where was he for the interview?

  • Ben

    Great coverage, Tim. Keep up the good work.