Friday, December 21, 2007

The Best Christmas Ever, Take 2

Thank God, Eric Volz is at last truly freed from Nicaraguan prison, after a week of almost absolute despair. It seems unimaginable that a judge could convict him of murder in the first place, considering that 10 witnesses place him 2 hours away in another city at the time of the murder. But then, after the Appellate Court overturned the conviction after 7 long months in prison, that same judge made every effort under the sun to delay his release - disappearing from the court before her appointment with his attorney to sign the release papers, claiming illness, a flat tire, improperly numbered pages, improperly collated and stapled papers, etc.

In the end, he was let go - I won't talk about how it was done because my information is patchy, and because I suspect there are things the family would rather keep silent for now. Eric will be writing a book about his experiences, and I think it will be mind-blowing!

It has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. We were all so happy on Monday, so that when roadblocks started being thrown up by evil people (there is no other word for them) to keep him imprisoned, despite breaking Nicaraguan law by doing so, some of us on Team Free Eric V really lost hope. I didn't lose faith that God was able to take care of it; but rather, that we were going to have to wait a lot longer, and through even more harrowing dangers for Eric before he might be free. God doesn't always answer prayers the way we wish.

It was just so incredibly cruel - it was almost as if he had been set free, and then killed in a car accident on the way to the airport. I don't like to think that such evil intent (radio stations suggesting Nicaraguans "take care" of Eric themselves) could be so unreasoning, so hateful. It's not like I don't know that this world is pretty horrific at times; the Holocaust, the Sudan, the Spanish Inquisition... but that's easier for our mind to gloss over subconsciously because it's faceless numbers of people. But to focus so much hatred on one person, despite all the evidence of innocence... such deliberate malice is only something you see in a movie, right? Not in the real world... not in the safe world I know.

Eric is still in danger. His health is in shambles, and the hatred may well have followed him home. He has gone into hiding to recuperate, and it may be a while before we see him. Here's hoping that the hatred dies down in Nicaragua, that the true guilty party is found and punished, and that Eric can return to a normal life. Meanwhile, I am celebrating with champagne. And pizza. I can honestly say I have never had something so worthy of celebration and champagne in my life, and I am so grateful, despite the emotional rollercoaster and grief, that I was allowed to help out.

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