Saturday, February 17

The Case of Eric Volz, An American Accused of Murder in Nicaragua

A co-worker brought this story to my attention. Having lived in Central America, I can understand how corruption could taint the judicial process. Usually, most murders go un-punished even when they know who the killer is. I do not understand why, considering the evidence, Mr. Volz would be accused. Read it for yourself. I am copying the whole statement of Facts right here. According to their updates page, he was handed a guilty veredict by the judge just yesterday.

Statement of Facts in Connection with Eric Volz' Whereabouts on November 21, 2006

Doris Ivanez Jimenez was murdered on Tuesday, November 21, 2006, between 11:45 am and 1:00 pm, inside a clothing store she owned, Sol Fashion, in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

On the day of her murder, Eric Volz was over two (2) hours away in Managua. The proof that Eric was in Managua and innocent of this crime is conclusive. Many witnesses have given written statements and will testify that Eric was in Managua on the day of the murder. These statements are available to anyone who would like to review them. In addition to these many eyewitnesses, no physical evidence exists that would connect Eric to this murder.

Throughout the evening of November 20, 2006, Eric was in Managua at the house where he lived. Eric's house also serves as the offices of EP magazine, a bilingual Central American magazine. Eric awoke there the morning of November 21, 2006, and entered the office area at around 9:15 am. The housekeeper, a security guard and no fewer than five EP workers were there at the time, saw Eric, and have given written statements confirming this fact. Eric's defense counsel has these written statements, which are available for anyone to review.

At around 10:30 am, Eric received a visit from Maria Mercedes, who works at Etica y Transparencia, a non-profit organization. Maria had been on the cover of the launch issue of EP. Maria Mercedes brought along a friend and they met with Eric at the offices for about half an hour, until approximately 11:00 am.

Around 11:30 am, Eric met with Ricardo Castillo, a potential contributing editor who is a journalist working with diverse foreign media including the BBC of London and America Economia. Several EP workers observed the meeting with Castillo. This meeting also included a telephone conference call with Castillo and a business contact in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), Nick Purdy.

This 54-minute conference call ended at 1:15 pm and is documented by phone records that are available to anyone who wishes to review them. Also available are Nick Purdy's personal notes and instant messages (IM) from Eric showing that in total the two were engaged in intensive, back and forth business communications from approximately 9:21 am until 2:07 pm. In addition to these telephone records, cell phone records for Eric's cell phone also confirm Eric's use of his cell phone in Managua that day.

Eric then had lunch with Mr. Castillo and an EP employee at the same house in Managua. The lunch, prepared by the housekeeper, Martha Aguirre, was witnessed by other EP colleagues. Castillo left the house around 1:30 pm. Mr. Castillo and Mr. Purdy have provided written statements that are also available for anyone's review.

Eric was at his house in Managua with at least five people when he received the tragic news that Doris was dead. Around that same time, 2:30 pm, yet another witness arrived, a hair stylist who had been previously scheduled to be there. She, too, saw Eric at the house in Managua.

At about 3 pm, Eric rented a car, as he had done many other times, to get to San Juan del Sur and help Doris' family. Although Eric had a car in Managua, the rental vehicle was better suited to pass slow traffic on the road to San Juan. The car was delivered by the rental agency to the Managua house. Eric did not meet with the rental car staff himself. One of his employees brought the rental car credit vouchers inside the house for Eric to sign. Eric's Nicaraguan counsel has copies of the vouchers showing that Eric signed the credit voucher for the car. Cell phone records show that Eric was using his cell phone in the greater Managua area until 4:31 pm that afternoon. On his way to San Juan del Sur, Eric went to Rivas to pick up Doris' father, Ivan Jimenez. They then proceeded to San Juan del Sur where Eric assisted the family with Doris' funeral arrangements and attended her funeral.

After her funeral, Eric stayed in San Juan and pressed the police to take action. On November 23, 2006, Eric was arrested for the murder. The prosecution alleges that Eric was in San Juan del Sur at the time of the crime and that he, along with two others, raped and killed Doris. Despite the conclusive proof that Eric was in Managua at the time of the crime, he remains imprisoned pending a trial now set on January 26, 2007. While in prison, Eric at least twice has been physically threatened, and on one occasion Eric was almost killed by a mob of over 200 outside the courthouse.

Here is how to locate your government representatives:

Senators
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Click on the above link and locate your two State Senators

Congresspersons
http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml
Click on the above link and locate your Congressional Representatives

From their website:

Call, or email their office and ask to speak with Chief of Staff. If s/he is not available, ask for the Legislative Assistant. Tell them you have a friend who is an American citizen who has been falsely accused in Nicaragua and you would like the Senator or Congressperson to be made aware of the situation. For a Fact Statement of the case, please direct them to the web site: www.friendsofericvolz.com.

Inform them that the office of Senator Lamar Alexander of TN (Eric's parents' home state) has initiated contact between a number of Senators and Congresspersons and the U.S. State Department. If your Senator/Congressperson's office would like contact from the persons coordinating this effort, please have them contact us via the web site and we will facilitate the exchange.

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