MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE
DECEMBER 21, 2020
Today, the United States is imposing sanctions on Marvin Ramiro Aguilar Garcia, Walmaro Antonio Gutierrez Mercado, and Fidel de Jesus Dominguez Alvarez, pursuant to Executive Order 13851, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua.” These three individuals enable and benefit from the Ortega administration’s corruption and abuse of the Nicaraguan people.
In this designation, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is promoting accountability for Nicaraguan government officials who further the Ortega regime’s attacks on Nicaragua’s democracy.
Marvin Ramiro Aguilar Garcia is the Vice President of the Supreme Court of Justice, National Political Secretary of the Sandinista Leadership Council, and a member of the Council for the Administration and Judicial Career of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court of Justice, which ensures regime supporters are selected for key posts. As the National Political Secretary, Aguilar directly advises President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo and reportedly coordinates the targeting of pro-democracy opposition members.
Walmaro Antonio Gutierrez Mercado is a Deputy of the National Assembly and president of the Production, Economic and Budget Commission, and has publicly advocated for the controversial Foreign Agents Law, which specifies that certain individuals and entities in Nicaragua that receive foreign funds must register and make detailed monthly reports to the Interior Ministry. We anticipate that this law, which contemplates fines and other legal sanctions for noncompliance, will be invoked to restrict the civil and political rights of certain individuals or organizations that the government arbitrarily deems to be a threat.
Fidel de Jesus Dominguez Alvarez, Chief of the Nicaraguan National Police in Leon, has allegedly directed assaults on many Nicaraguan citizens and journalists. Specifically, Dominguez reportedly directed the beating of a journalist by Nicaraguan National Police officials. Dominguez was also reportedly involved in the abuse and beatings of a former opposition deputy and other Ortega opponents.
The United States government will continue to take the steps necessary to support the Nicaraguan people and pressure the Ortega regime to cease its repressive activities, respect human rights, and allow the conditions for free and fair elections that would restore democracy to Nicaragua.
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