US, Canada sanction Nicaraguan officials over human rights
24 Jun 2019

AP — The Trump administration and Canada’s government imposed sanctions Friday on some Nicaraguan officials, tying them to a tough crackdown on street demonstrations that began in the Central American country in April 2018.

The U.S. said it was sanctioning four officials: National Assembly President Gustavo Porras, telecommunications institute director Orlando José Castillo, Health Minister Sonia Castro and Transportation Minister Oscar Mojica.

Any assets they have in the U.S. will now be frozen.

Canada didn’t immediately identify who its sanctions were aimed at, saying only that they are “key members” of Nicaragua’s government.

The U.S. already imposed sanctions on at least six Nicaraguan officials, including Rosario Murillo, who is the vice president and wife of President Daniel Ortega, their son Laureano Ortega and current National Police Chief Francisco Díaz.

The sanctions are related to a crackdown last year that saw at least 325 people killed and more than 2,000 injured, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

“The United States is sending an unequivocal message to President Ortega and his inner circle: we stand with the Nicaraguan people on their calls for reform and a return to democracy,” said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Canada said it was acting because of the Nicaraguan officials’ violations of citizens’ human rights, including the right to life, security, speech and assembly.

Read more on the Associated Press

Photo: Ricardo Patiño [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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