July 5, 2018
Today, the United States government sanctioned three individuals from Nicaragua who have been involved in serious human rights abuse or engaged in corruption. As a result of today’s actions, any property, or interest in property, of those designated within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked. Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities owned or controlled by designated persons.
Under Francisco Javier Diaz Madriz’s command, Nicaragua’s National Police has engaged in serious human rights abuse against the people of Nicaragua. Fidel Antonio Moreno Briones has directed acts of violence committed by the Sandinista Youth and pro-government armed groups which have been implicated in numerous human rights abuses related to the ongoing protests against the Nicaraguan government. Jose Francisco Lopez Centeno is the Vice President of ALBANISA, the President of Petronic, and the Treasurer of the ruling FSLN party and has been accused of leveraging his position to his and his family’s benefit by using companies they own to win government contracts.
Today’s sanctions announcement, plus earlier and continuing visa revocations, shows the United States will expose and hold accountable those responsible for the Nicaraguan government’s ongoing violence and intimidation campaign against its people. These actions must end. We support the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua’s efforts to advance negotiations to resolve the crisis, and urge full implementation of the June 15 National Dialogue agreement on human rights as a critical component. The United States also supports calls for early, free, fair and transparent elections. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and take additional actions as events warrant.