The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’) has used a new executive order (‘EO’) to target Rosario Murillo, vice-president and wife of President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, accusing her of human rights abuses and corruption. National security adviser Nestor Moncada Lau was also sanctioned (27 November).
Murillo has ruled Nicaragua jointly with her husband for over a decade. She has influence over the Sandinista National Liberation Front’s (‘SNLF’) youth movement, and the Nicaraguan National Police (‘NNP’), both of which have been implicated in serious human rights abuses, including the killing of scores of protestors. Nicaragua has experienced violent anti-government protests since April 2018. Moncada was sanctioned for allegedly paying counter-protesters on behalf of Ortega and Murillo and bribing and blackmailing individuals to gain support or prevent them from opposing Ortega’s government. Both individuals are accused of sustained corruption.
‘Vice President Murillo and her political operators have systematically sought to dismantle democratic institutions and loot the wealth of Nicaragua to consolidate their grip on power. This Administration is committed to holding the Ortega regime accountable for the violent protests and widespread corruption that have led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent Nicaraguans and destroyed their economy,’ said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
All US property – or interests in property – of those designated is blocked, including entities in which they have a 50% or more holding, and US persons are prohibited from dealing with them.
OFAC’s notice can be found here:
The White House fact sheet can be found here:
The US Treasury press release can be found here: