The UK has today imposed sanctions against 8 senior Nicaraguan individuals, including the country’s Vice-President, following the presidential election on 7 November.

The election was strongly criticised by the UK, US, the EU and Canada and others due to the arbitrary arrest and detention of political opponents, repression of independent media and enforced dissolution of opposition parties.

These sanctions impose travel bans and asset freezes on those particularly responsible for undermining Nicaragua’s democratic principles and institutions, commissioning serious human rights violations, and the repression of civil society.

Wendy Morton, Minister for Europe and Americas, said:

The Ortega regime is denying the Nicaraguan people their fundamental human rights. The recent Presidential election was rigged and opposition politicians and peaceful protestors have consistently been imprisoned for political purposes.

The UK will always be a fierce champion for freedom around the world and these sanctions will ensure those responsible for attacks on democracy in Nicaragua face a real cost for their actions.

The list of individuals sanctioned includes the Vice President and First Lady of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, for her involvement in the state-backed repression of demonstrations, the discrediting of independent journalists and the exclusion of opposition candidates from elections.

The Attorney General and President of the Supreme Court of Justice are both also sanctioned for their role in restricting access to free and fair trials and other acts which undermine the rule of law, alongside a senior commissioner in the Nicaraguan National Police for his involvement in the harassment of protestors during demonstrations in 2018.

Today’s announcement ensures these individuals cannot freely travel to the UK, channel money through UK banks or profit from the UK economy. These restrictive measures are aimed at individuals and are carefully targeted to minimise the impact on the wider economy.

These actions were coordinated with the US and Canada, who have imposed similar sanctions on leading Nicaraguan officials, to maximise pressure on the Ortega regime to change its behaviour and end the repression of its citizens. We will continue to work with likeminded partners such as the US, Canada, and the EU on further coordinated steps to respond to the situation in Nicaragua.

The UK has repeatedly called for the immediate and unconditional release of all opposition leaders and other political prisoners in Nicaragua, and for the full restoration of all of their civil and political rights, most recently in a statement following the rigged elections on 7 November.

These new sanctions add to the 6 that were carried over when the UK left the EU under the Nicaragua (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 and 1 designation that the UK imposed on 26 April 2021 under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021.

Background

The full list of those sanctioned by the UK today is:

  • Rosario María Murillo Zambrana, Vice President of Nicaragua, First Lady of Nicaragua, government spokesperson and leader of the Sandinista Youth
  • Gustavo Eduardo Porras Cortés, President of the Nicaraguan National Assembly
  • Fidel Antonio Moreno Briones, Secretary General of the Managua Mayor’s Office and Organisation Secretary of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)
  • Ana Julia Guido Ochoa, Attorney General of the Republic of Nicaragua
  • Alba Luz Ramos Vanegas, President of Nicaragua’s Supreme Court of Justice
  • Lumberto Ignacio Campbell Hooker, former Vice President and interim President and current magistrate in the Supreme Electoral Council of Nicaragua
  • Juan Antonio Valle Valle, senior commissioner of the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP)
  • Fidel de Jesus Dominguez Alvarez, Chief Commissioner of Police in the Department of León

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    UK imposes sanctions on senior Nicaraguan individuals following rigged elections

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