The US has imposed sanctions on three Nicaraguans under a programme targeting the president Daniel Ortega government, the US Treasury said on its website. The US Treasury Department said it had placed Deputy Director-General of the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) Ramon Antonio Avellan Medal, acting President of the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) Lumberto Ignacio Campbell Hooker and Director of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) Roberto Jose Lopez Gomez on a sanctions list.
Treasury sanctions Nicaraguan government officials involved in human rights abuse and social security corruption. https://t.co/GekqKchmVb— Treasury Department (@USTreasury) November 7, 2019
The three Nicaraguans will continue the list of those that Washington had previously taken measures against, including Vice President Rosario Murillo and National Police Chief Francisco Diaz, implicated in the brutal repression of anti-government protesters that began more than a year ago, as per a previous press release.
Prior to this, the US had targeted National Assembly President Gustavo Eduardo Porras, Postal and Telecommunications Director Orlando Jose Castillo, Health Minister Sonia Castro, and Transportation Minister Oscar Salvador Mojica in June, in relation to their involvement in a crackdown on protesters demanding the resignation of President Daniel Ortega. Under the sanctions, property and assets belonging to the officials, in the United States or territories under US control will be frozen.
In April, Washington imposed sanctions on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's son and the Nicaraguan bank 'Banco Corporativo' (Bancorp) which is owned by the Venezuelan state-run oil giant PDVSA. They claimed that the bank was used as an instrument to conduct 'corrupt' deals with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government.
Human rights groups have reported more than 300 deaths at the hands of police and armed pro-government groups, and more than 700 have been jailed since protests against Ortega's government erupted in April 2018.
Anti-government protests started in Nicaragua in April 2018 when people took to the streets to oppose unpopular social security reforms announced by President Daniel Ortega. After several days of rallies, Ortega cancelled the reforms, but the protests, which were accompanied by violence and clashes, continued.