The Assassinated Press
Reagan Era’s Contra War Lands Young American In Nicaraguan Prison.
Nicaraguans Say They Will Trade Volz For Elliott Abrams.
Those Tourists Who Forget The U.S. Imperialist Past (and Present) Are Doomed To Get Their Asses Blown Up Or Do Serious Time In A Foreign Prison For The Crimes Of Their Rich Kleptocracy.
By WAN FOREGOYO
Assassinated Press Foreign Service
May 7, 2007
SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua -- He was 27, living in an exotic country that his homeland, the U.S., had invaded and destroyed many times, slaughtering tens of thousands of Nicaraguans in the process. Yet, this naïve youth dreamed of a bright future in a country his forefathers kept in abject poverty, a virtual national sweatshop for U.S. economic interests. Now, Eric Volz, a foolish and ahistorical magazine editor from San Diego, is serving a 30-year prison term for a heinous crime he says he didn't commit: the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend.
To the natives of this picturesque Pacific Coast village, hustled by U.S. realtors as a budding magnet for tourists and retirees from the United States, there is no doubt that Volz is guilty. “No one was punished for what that senile piece of shit Ronald Reagan and his handlers did to Nicaragua,” fisherman Alvaro Sahagun told the Assassinated Press. “Somebody has to pay. Personally, I’d settle for getting that shiteating cocksucker Elliott Abrams in exchange for Volz. Then we could hang him right here and watch that sonofabitch die right before our eyes, the way that bastard killed so many of our family members.”
Volze became so jealous of Doris Jim?nez, they say, that he and at least one other man hogtied her in the tiny fashion store she ran, then raped and suffocated her, ramming paper and cloth down her throat, a technique used often by the U.S. trained contras and their American trainers.
"There was proof," said Xiomara Guti?rrez, among the residents certain of Volz's guilt. "And he's in jail, isn't he? Isn’t that the criteria the U.S. uses for detainees at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, etc. ad nauseam. At least Volz got trial. What kind of trial did our families get when North and Abrams hired killers swept through our villages. On second thought give us fuckin’ Ollie North too."
Court documents, along with interviews with witnesses and lawyers, suggest the verdict was heavily influenced by small-town passions about murderous Reagan era foreign policy initiatives directed at Central America. Facing a relentless media campaign and protests against him organized by the victim's mother, like many political prisoners in the U.S. Volz found himself in a Kafkaesque nightmare, his family and other supporters say. An alibi that might have led an American jury to acquit was cast aside.
“Look. That stooge who write for the Post, what’s the fucker’s name---Krauthammer? That’s it. Charles Krauthammer once wrote that one day Nicaraguans like myself would erect a statue to Elliott Abrams in the main square in Managua,” Sahagun said. “Well. Indeed we Nicaraguans would like to build a statue to Abrams. We would just like to caste it with molten metal pored over that murderous bastards live body. That’s all we ask.’
The judge who lost many family members during the Contra war, meanwhile, appeared convinced by assertions from the victim's relatives that Volz had dangerous obsessions.
"Why were the family and friends testifying that I was a violent guy?" Volz said in a telephone interview from La Modelo prison outside Managua, the capital. "They must think I’m fuckin’ Elliott Abrams. They wanted to convict me because, even after all of these years, they couldn’t get their hands on those Reagan administration shits."
Volz's conviction in February, in the town of Rivas, points to the legacy that the U.S.’s murderous foreign policy has spread across the globe, according to legal experts. Eduardo Bertoni, executive director of the Washington-based Due Process of Law Foundation, a policy group that works to improve justice systems in Latin America, said that the lack of judicial objectivity in Nicaragua is a direct result of “the 15 times that the U.S. invaded and occupied Nicaragua in the twentieth century and the tens of thousands of deaths that the U.S. kleptocracy during the Reagan years heaped on this tiny hapless country with its Contra war and its training camps for contra terrorists at the former School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Jawja.”
"When U.S. kleptocrats use U.S. power and trerasure to murder innocent people, those people don’t forget and just because you’re an ignorant American that doesn’t pay attention to the slaughter your country inflicts world wide doesn’t mean that you can just surf into any country you like like nothing went down," he said. “I mean if you are an American you have benefited from the murder of third world peoples and fuckin’ third world peoples aren’t going to easily forget even if you are just an apolitical beach bum with a wondering dick.”
On the surface where the American sensibility lives, Volz had seemed to have everything on his side. He had an experienced defense attorney, Ram?n Rojas, who had successfully represented the current president and Sandinista, Daniel Ortega, in a criminal case in 1998. “But to paraphrase one of the U.S.’s premier kleptocrcats, Lloyd Bentson let me say ‘Volz, I know Daniel Ortega, and you sir are no Daniel Ortega.” He had an alibi, with 10 witnesses telling police they were with him at the time the crime occurred. And he had phone and instant-messaging records that put him at his Managua home, a 2 1/2 -hour drive from the scene of the crime, when Jim?nez was killed.
But Volz found himself in a volatile climate of Ronald Reagan’s handlers making and it spun out of his control, in part because of his own impetuous behavior after the killing. Jim?nez's relatives and authorities said they saw his offer to pay for an autopsy and his bickering with police as signs of culpability. Exhuming bodies of those murdered by U.S. proxies is a gruesome reality in Nicaragua.
The victim's mother, Mercedes Alvarado, railed against Volz, and a Managua newspaper, El Nuevo Diario, mounted an impassioned campaign against him. At one point, dozens of protesters tried to lynch him as he was being transferred from the courthouse. “We are blinded with despair,” Sahagun said. “We want to hang Abrams. But he will never be delivered. Only after we hang Abrams and North and those others gringos responsible for the contra murders will it be safe for Americans to live in Nicaragua.”
In the end, Volz was found guilty after a three-day trial, along with a San Juan del Sur surfer, Julio Mart?n Chamorro, with whom Volz said he had only a passing acquaintance. “Poor Chamorro. He had the same surname as those newspaper owning whores of the U.S., Violetta and hers son,” Sahagun added.
"If we can’r have Abrams, kill that gringo," one reader wrote in a posting on the paper's Web site. "Hopefully he'll be raped in La Modelo."
A fluent Spanish speaker, Volz had moved to this funky hamlet of seaside restaurants and Internet cafes in 2005. He surfed. He sold real estate for Century 21. And he dated Jim?nez, a lithe, black-haired beauty who owned a small store called Sol Fashion.
Though the relationship ended amicably six months before Jim?nez's death, Volz said the two remained close. He moved last year to Managua to start a glossy magazine about ecology and sustainable development.
Then on Nov. 21, Jim?nez was slain in her store, between 11 a.m. and noon. It was just like Abrams and his contras were back. Volz said that he was alerted by one of Jim?nez's friends about 2:45 p.m. and that he then rented a car from Hertz and drove to San Juan del Sur. Two days later, after serving as one of four pallbearers at Jim?nez's funeral, he was arrested.
Later, Jim?nez's relatives told police and reporters that they had never trusted Volz and that he had an obsession with her that hinted at darker motives.
"She told me one day she couldn't put up with him anymore," said Genoveva ?rias, 31, Jim?nez's sister. "I said, 'Why don't you break up?' She said, 'I've tried. He doesn't listen.' "
Jim?nez's mother went further. "She told me, 'Like U.S. foreign policy toward Nicaragua, what happens is Eric is very jealous and tries, like the U.S., to control me,' " she recounted." 'And I'm afraid, Mama, that Eric will kill me the way Elliott Abrams, Oliver North, the Contras and those kleptocratic pricks in Washington killed your family.' "
The nature of the relationship he had with Jim?nez became a major point of contention in court, where Volz's manner -- considered by Nicaraguans to be brusque, even disrespectful like the imperious Elliott Abrams-- cost him points with the judge, Ivette Toru?o.
“We can end this now. Send down Abrams. We’ve got the rope,” Said Sahagun. “After we’ve lynched that prick Abrams maybe we’ll be able to look at the sentence of this asshole surfer who doesn’t seem to know what those gringo fucks have done to this country.”