US sanctions Nicaragua attorney general



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The US announced sanctions on Thursday against Nicaraguan Attorney General Wendy Carolina Morales Urbina, accusing her of assisting the “ruthless oppression of peaceful opposition members” in the country.

The Treasury Department dubbed Morales Urbina a “key actor in the Nicaraguan regime’s unjust persecution of political prisoners,” according to a press release announcing its sanction. Morales Urbina backed the policies of President Daniel Ortega, the former Sandinista leader who has been under U.S. sanctions for decades and who has served as the country’s president since 2007, the release notes.

The sanctions prevent any U.S. company, including financial institutions, from working with Morales Urbina and freeze her assets based in the U.S.

The sanctions directly relate to Morales Urbina’s conduct after the 2018 mass civil protests, the Treasury said. The statement claims Morales Urbina assisted Ortega as he “suppressed popular protests, incarcerated political opponents, and silenced critical voices in the media or forced them into exile.”

“Morales Urbina was key to formulating the strategy to designate Nicaraguan opposition members as terrorists and block their financial resources using an existing anti-terrorism law,” Treasury said in a statement.

The Treasury Department also said Morales Urbina illegally nationalized property belonging to dissidents, as well as dispossessed over 200 political prisoners.

The State Department issued a similar statement explaining the Treasury’s sanction.

“As Attorney General, Morales Urbina silenced opposition voices, and seized the property of over 300 Nicaraguans,” the State Department said. “She supported Ortega’s move to strip exiled political prisoners of their citizenship. She is responsible for the arbitrary shuttering of over 3,500 civil society organizations, including over 250 evangelical groups.”

“Morales Urbina took part in the Ortega-Murillo regime’s baseless attacks on religious institutions, which included false charges and unjust detentions of religious leaders,” the department continued. “We reaffirm our commitment to promote accountability for the malign conduct of the Nicaraguan regime and its collaborators.”

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