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June 13th, 2012
04:45 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: American jailed in Nicaragua "hellhole"

American Jason Puracal is in one of the world's most dangerous prisons. The Washington state native calls Nicaragua's infamous La Modelo prison a "hellhole." Puracal, 35, claims he's been wrongly condemned to 22 years behind bars.

Nicaraguan authorities don't see it that way. They say Puracal was using his real estate business in San Juan del Sur as a front to launder money and run an international drug trafficking operation. Puracal was arrested in November 2010. But no drugs were found and no evidence linking him to the charges was presented at his trial, his supporters say. Still, he was convicted of the crimes.

For the past 18 months, Puracal and his supporters have been fighting for his release. A U.N. group is calling for his freedom. While, 43 members of the U.S. House sent a letter urging Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to order an independent review of his case.

Puracal called Anderson from behind bars to talk about his ordeal. Watch a preview above and see the full interview at 8 and 10 p.m. ET tonight.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Why are we assuming he is innocent? If a Nicaraguan was convicted in a US court would we think he or she was unfairly treated?

    June 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  2. William

    We need to tell them that we don't mess around. How is it that they are allowed to hold him there? He is American and they are making excuses. We need to tell them that we are going to give them 2 weeks to release him or the U.N. will take action.

    June 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  3. Evangeline

    This story is very sad innocent people should not be in jail..what is the US doing about this isn't there someway the US could put pressure on Nicaragua to release this man? Many American's go over there to buy cheap properties and business and that boost Nicaragua's economy so maybe the US needs to encourage American not to go there and invest! Prayer this this man and his family we hope to see him release soon.. We love your show Anderson and all the good things you do for so many people!!!

    June 14, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  4. Dorothy

    I am glad you brought this to our attention. Nobody needs to be treated as such. I will do all I can to help in this matter!

    June 14, 2012 at 1:57 am |