Nicaragua News – American in Jail

In 2002 a man from the state ofWashingtonby the name of Jason Puracal joined the Peace Corpse and moved toNicaragua.  He decided to stay in Nicaragua permanently, marrying a local girl and working for the RE/MAX real estate office in San Juan del Sur.  They had a child who is now four years old and it seemed like everything was going great.  He said himself he was living the American dream in a tropical paradise.

American Jailed in Nicaragua

However, last December he was arrested on drug trafficking and conspiracy charges.  Police have been unable to find any drugs in his home or anywhere else associated with him.  The police believed that on several trips to Costa Rica he was smuggling cocaine across the boarder.  Not sure how they got to this conclusion but it is very common for foreigners living to in San Juan del Sur to venture over to Costa Rica because the boarder is less than an hour away.  Like Nicaraguan politics, the justice system is very unstable and inconsistent.  Usually there is no evidence and facts are base on he “he said, she said” witnesses who can be bribed to say whatever anyone wants.  What the true story is behind this mess we will probably never know.  I would guess based on foreign pressure from the US government Puracal will eventually be release but may be forced to leave the country.

Whether Puracal was even involved in drugs is dubious at best.  It is possible he got involved in the wrong crowd and someone tried to frame him.  Most foreigners in the country will encounter legal problems but usually minor things like dealing with traffic police trying to give them a ticket for infractions that they did not commit.  Situations like Jason Puracal are extremely rare but when they do happen they make the headlines.  A word of advice to those traveling to Nicaragua, be careful who you do business with.  Don’t get involved in the wrong crowd or it can come back to hurt you.

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