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viernes, marzo 23, 2007

Nicaragua: Free Eric Volz

Eric Volz

cross-posted from dailyKos

You probably never heard of Eric Volz. He's a 27 year old American ex-pat who was convicted in Nicaragua in February, 2007, of a murder he didn't commit. In fact, there's an entire mountain of proof that he was 2 hours away in Managua when the murder was committed in San Juan del Sur. But that so far hasn't seemed to matter.

Doris Jimenez was killed Tuesday, November 21, 2006, between 11:45 am and 1:00 pm, in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Her body was found at about 2:00 pm inside a clothing store she owned. She was tied, strangled and asphyxiated. Doris was popular and attractive and her murder deeply unsettled this small tourist town.

Eric Volz was two hours away in Managua at the time of the murder. Eric, a 27-year old American, had been living in Nicaragua for some two years. Not only were there 10 witnesses who saw him in Managua during the time of the murder, none of the physical evidence recovered from the scene linked Eric to the crime. Indeed, none of the blood, fluid, hair, or other physical evidence collected at the scene had any tie to Eric.

As you probably realize, things that happen south of the big river tend to stay there. You don't hear about events in Nicaragua by reading the MSM. The only way you hear about these things in the US is when US people involved in them campaign to break the silence. Eric is lucky. He has this campaign:

What else do we know about this case? It has barely been reported. Volz is from Nashville, so there is reportage in the Tennesseean.
The story has also pierced the Wall Street Journal(subscription needed).

But in Nicaragua it's big, big news. It is something of a different sort entirely.
The case has become a tabloid sensation in the Central American country, left the family broke and desperately seeking his release through lobbying members of Congress and other officials in Washington — while also appealing the case through the Nicaraguan courts.


The case has fanned anti-American feelings there. His family said at one point early on, a mob of 300 locals wielding machetes and clubs outside the courthouse tried to lynch Volz, who narrowly escaped the crowd as it yelled "gringo." The mob then turned on Volz's attorney and his father, Jan Volz, who said they narrowly escaped as the angry crowd tried to hold back their car.

Of course, Volz and his family need financial and other help. But that's not the reason for this diary.

Volz's problem highlights another issue. Remember Somosa? Iran-Contra? Ronald Reagan? Daniel Ortega, the former Sandinista and the present president of Nicaragua? Remember Ollie North's recent trip to Nicaragua before the presidential election to flex US muscles? Well, the Nicaraguans probably remember all of that pretty doggone well, and they probably remember the US role in aiding the contras, the disappearances, the murders, the dirty war, and on and on and on. They recall their recent misery and who was responsible for it.

Volz personally had nothing to do with any of that history. As a US citizen, can he expect assistance from his government when he has a major problem in a country with which the US has diplomatic relations? Or has the US under Bush finally squandered so much good will in Central America that it really has become an irrelevancy, a paper tiger? Volz needs US diplomatic help. And his case highlights the direct, personal costs to US citizens and tourists of US policies in Central America. It's simply unbelievable that Volz, who desperately needs his country's assistance, has a government that may have thrown away its credibility as well as its ability to be of assistance to him.


Anonymous Anónimo said...

David, I can't thank you enough for this post and for all of the work that you've done to support Eric's cause and his family. This is a nightmare for those who know and love and Eric and for all of us who care deeply about freedom and true just process.
Bowing with gratitude,

10:47 a.m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

I think you hit it right on the head. Whether or not Eric did anything, I believe there is a bigger picture going on here.

3:07 p.m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Only God, Eric and Doris know what happened that horrible day. I sure imagine this is a nightmare for those who love Eric because he caused them so much pain.
Nicaraguans do not hate Americans, you are picturing us as evil people... why would you say that? Do you hate all other nationalities for entering your country illegally? Do you hate the rest of the world because we represent such a burden and because of the crimes linked to latinos in the US? I encourage you to come & see with your own eyes how humble our people are. No one likes like crime, we do not like liars. There has been a crime and there is a liar. Murder does not have nationality, liars do not come from a certain country. He will have a fair trial, with the Supreme Judge, he will have to settle his account with him, not with us.

4:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

I was born and raised in nicaragua and I love my country even though at time it gets me so mad too see cases like this one.
I honestly think Eric Volz needs not only support but help from the U.S.A government. Even though Im nicaraguan after reading information about Eric Volz case , it proves to me how ignorant can people be sometimes. This is another case of government dirty work. They are proves that his innocent and they were over looked..why??? well because the government knows he can come out clean with them. This is another of those cases that we get where its not about justice its about GOVERNMENT power. Eric Volz was just the "Innocent" one who had the bad luck to be placed in the middle of 2 governments fucked-up communications or bad trade and relations. This is another "Elian" case. Where cubans government wanted to make seem this country like an ass and ask for the kid back using the poor childs dad who probably did not even care about the children until Fidel got involved in the cituation.This is nother "Let see who has more Power" or You fuck up with are pleople let me get back at you not caring about Justice! "KaKi"

5:03 p.m.  

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