March 5, 2020

OFAC sanctions Nicaraguan police for human rights violations, issues two Nicaragua-related general licenses

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has designated the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) and three of its commissioners for their involvement in human rights abuses, pursuant to Executive Order 13851 and the Nicaragua Human Rights and Anti-corruption Act of 2018.

According to OFAC, the NNP bears responsibility for human rights abuses and acts of violence in connection with protests in Nicaragua that began in April 2018, resulting in approximately 100 deaths.  The designated commissioners, Juan Valle Valle, Luis Alberto Perez Olivas and Justo Pastor Urbina, serve as head of the NNP’s Department of Surveillance and Patrolling, the Judicial Assistance Directorate and El Chipote prison, and Commissioner of the Special Operations Division of the NNP, respectively.

Two NNP officials were designated in 2018 and 2019 for their roles in human rights abuses; OFAC’s current action targets the NNH as an institution, in addition to the three individual commissioners.

Following these designations, US property of the NNP and the three individuals is blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from dealing with the property of blocked or designated persons.

Parallel to the designations, OFAC has issued two Nicaragua-related General Licenses.  GL-1 authorizes the conduct of official business with the US government, and GL 2 allows for the wind-down of transactions involving the NNP until May 6, 2020.  OFAC also issued a Nicaragua-related FAQ to clarify the purpose of the designations and the scope of GL-2.

US Dept. of the Treasury press release | GL-1 | GL-2 | FAQ