Treasury Sanctions Three Nicaraguan Officials Supporting Ortega Regime

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U.S Department of the Treasury

Press Release

December 21, 2020

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Vice President of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court of Justice, Marvin Ramiro Aguilar Garcia; a Deputy of the National Assembly, Walmaro Antonio Gutierrez Mercado; and a Chief of the Nicaraguan National Police in Leon, Fidel De Jesus Dominguez Alvarez, in an effort to target government officials that continue to assist the Ortega regime’s effort to undermine Nicaragua’s democracy. The individuals designated today each are responsible for coopting judicial or financial reporting mechanisms to support the Ortega regime’s systematic identification, intimidation, and punishment of political opposition.

“President Ortega and his regime prioritize personal gain and power over Nicaraguans’ calls for reform,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This Administration remains committed to targeting the Ortega regime by seeking out and exposing those who continue to suppress the democratic will of the Nicaraguan people.”

Today’s action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13851, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua,” targets high-level officials acting on behalf of the Ortega regime.

MARVIN RAMIRO AGUILAR GARCIA

Marvin Ramiro Aguilar Garcia (Aguilar) was designated for being an official of the Government of Nicaragua or for having served as an official of the Government of Nicaragua at any time on or after January 10, 2007. Aguilar is the Vice President of the Supreme Court, 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 is in direct contact with President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo and reportedly coordinates the targeting of pro-democracy opposition members.

WALMARO ANTONIO GUTIERREZ MERCADO

Walmaro Antonio Gutierrez Mercado (Gutierrez) was designated for being an official of the Government of Nicaragua or for having served as an official of the Government of Nicaragua at any time on or after January 10, 2007. Gutierrez is a Deputy of the National Assembly and President of the Production, Economic, and Budget Commission. He publicly supported the controversial Foreign Agents Law, which specifies that individuals and entities in Nicaragua that receive foreign funds must generally register and file detailed monthly reports with the Interior Ministry. This law, which contemplates fines and other legal sanctions for noncompliance, will likely be invoked to target key individuals or organizations that the government deems to be a threat. The law will also affect implementers of humanitarian and democracy programs in country, as contractors may not want to risk being a target of the regime due to their work with international development organizations.

FIDEL DE JESUS DOMINGUEZ ALVAREZ

Fidel De Jesus Dominguez Alvarez (Dominguez) was designated for being an official of the Government of Nicaragua or for having served as an official of the Government of Nicaragua at any time on or after January 10, 2007. Dominguez is the Chief of the Nicaraguan National Police in Leon, and has reportedly directed numerous assaults on Nicaraguan citizens and journalists. For example, Nicaraguan National Police officials assaulted a journalist during a police operation at Dominguez’s direction. Dominguez was also reportedly involved in the torture and beatings of a former opposition deputy and three members of a family of well-known opponents of the Ortega regime.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by such persons are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

View identifying information on the individuals designated today.