U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) today praised the Nicaraguan government for releasing Eric Volz from prison after a Nicaraguan appeals court overturned his earlier conviction.
“Eric Volz’s safe return home is an extraordinary Christmas present, not just for Eric, but for his family, friends, and all those who have been praying for his release,” said Alexander. “I’m grateful to those in our government and in the Nicaraguan government who worked to make sure that, in the end, a proper legal process was followed.”
“After more than a year of imprisonment, we are grateful and relieved that Eric’s long ordeal has come to an end,” said Corker. “I appreciate the work of the Nicaraguan government and the U.S. State Department in ensuring that justice was served in this case and know that this Christmas will be a great reunion for Eric’s family as they celebrate his freedom.”
Alexander and Corker have been working quietly behind the scenes to ensure Volz’s safety throughout this difficult process. In December 2006, Alexander and Corker led a group of four senators and five congressmen in asking U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take all possible steps “to ensure the Nicaraguan government allows for a fair legal process to unfold in a safe environment for Eric.”
In April, the two senators met privately with the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister and the Nicaraguan Ambassador in Alexander’s Washington, D.C., office. Staff members for the two senators have been in active communication with Volz’s family, with U.S. State Department personnel, and with the Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington during this time, including over the last few days.
Alexander is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Foreign Operations which oversees the funding of all U.S. foreign aid. Corker is the Ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs which oversees U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.