May 22, 2024

OFAC designates three entities for supporting the Ortega-Murillo regime

On May 15, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated three Nicaragua-based entities for supporting the Ortega-Murillo regime and its continued efforts to repress the Nicaraguan people and profit from corrupt operations.  According to OFAC, Nicaragua is one of Russia’s primary partners in Central America, and, because of this, the Russian Federation’s (“GOR”) Ministry of Internal Affairs established the Training Center of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Managua (“RTC”) for the purpose of training those under the Ortega-Murillo regime’s command to use the GOR’s authoritarian methods of oppression.  OFAC designated the RTC as well as two government-affiliated gold companies that generate revenues for the Ortego-Murillo regime through the export of gold, Nicaragua’s top commodity.

The designations were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 13851, as amended, which targets those who support the Nicaraguan regime or are complicit in the regime’s suppression of political prisoners and civil society within the country.   As a result of this designation, all property and interests in property of the designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked.

On the same day, the U.S. Departments of State, Homeland Security, and the Treasury issued, “Disrupting Irregular Migration,” a joint alert to inform those in the aviation sector, including airlines, travel agents, and service providers, of ways that migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks have recently exploited legitimate transportation services to support irregular migration to the United States, particularly near the U.S. southwest border.  The alert was issued in response to an increase of migrants disembarking from Managua, Nicaragua after permissive migration policies were imposed by the Ortega-Murillo regime, which created opportunities for these smuggling and trafficking networks to travel north towards the United States.  The alert describes the potential risks faced by those in the aviation sector and identifies a number of recommendations to help those in both the public and private sector reduce their exposure to these risks and minimize illicit travel.

U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release | Policy Alert – Disrupting Irregular Migration