Puracal's mother treats his wounds in Nicaraguan prison

Jason Puracal was found guilty of money laundering, drug trafficking and organized crime by a Nicaraguan court on Aug. 29. - Courtesy photo
Jason Puracal was found guilty of money laundering, drug trafficking and organized crime by a Nicaraguan court on Aug. 29.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The family of Jason Puracal, a Tacoma man wrongly imprisoned in Nicaragua, reported Sept. 9 that Puracal had been badly burned in an accident in prison.

Puracal suffered "first-degree burns on his left thigh, shin and foot. Within the first-degree burns are second-degree burns where the skin is blistering," according to the website The website also reports that Puracal suffered a third-degree burn on his right leg, measuring approximately four by six inches.

Puracal was injured while he and other inmates boiled water for their own consumption. This is apparently common practice because any water obtained through the prison's water system is "infested with parasites." Prisoners can buy their own fresh water from the prison store, but often times that resource is quickly depleted.

Daisy Puracal, Jason's mother and a doctor, made an emergency trip to the Nicaraguan prison to confirm his condition and the extent of his injuries. According to the family's website, Daisy Puracal was able to apply antibiotic cream and properly dress the larger wound, something the prison doctor was unable to do. The website indicates Daisy is planning to stay in Nicaragua until Sept. 18 to ensure that the wounds are properly treated.

Daisy and the security detail she brought with her "were stopped on the way to the prison by a crowd of unrelated prisoners who were lighting logs on fire in the street and threatening passers-by with sticks," according to the website. Fortunately for her, the security guard "told the crowd she was injured and needed to pass, so they let her go."

Puracal is being held in Nicaraguan prison after being found guilty of money laundering, drug trafficking and organized crime charges earlier this month. In what amounted to a kangaroo trial, Puracal's defense case was thrown out by the presiding judge. He could face up to a maximum of 30 years in prison.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, whose district includes the Federal Way area, issued his own statement on Aug. 30 regarding Puracal's conviction.

"Jason Puracal has been taken away from his wife and son for nearly nine months and put on trial for drug trafficking and money laundering. Unfortunately, last night (Aug. 29), Jason was convicted of all counts against him in a flawed Nicaraguan justice system. I was hoping for a better outcome for Jason and his family," Smith said. "Going forward, my office will continue to advocate for Jason as an American citizen and work with the State Department to explore all options under international law."


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