U.S. And Canada Impose New Sanctions on Nicaragua

August 14, 2019

The Canadian government has introduced new sanctions against the government of Nicaragua – alongside measures by the United States.

The measures came into effect June 21st, 2019 and add nine people to the sanctions lists due to their connection to the government of President Daniel Ortega.

Each of the following is cited as a person “who has participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Nicaragua:”

  • Gustavo Eduardo PORRAS Cortes
  • Sonia CASTRO Gonzalez
  • Orlando Jose CASTILLO Castillo
  • Oscar Salvador MOJICA Obregon
  • Rosario María MURILLO Zambrana
  • Fidel Antonio MORENO Briones
  • Francisco Javier DIAZ Madriz
  • Nestor MONCADA Lau
  • Laureano Facundo ORTEGA Murillo

Canadians and Americans are prohibited from having any business or other financial dealings with listed persons under the sanctions.

Canada’s move welcomed by the U.S.

“Canada’s sanctions actions today illustrate the international commitment to Nicaraguans’ cause, signaling clearly that President Ortega’s insufficient and self-serving measures are not nearly enough to address Nicaraguans’ demands for democracy, basic rights, and freedom from repression,” the U.S. State Department said in a release.

The actions from both governments were in part due to crackdowns on anti-government protests.

“There are also credible allegations of torture, extrajudicial killings and mistreatment against protestors,” said Global Affairs Canada.

The U.S. pointed to four of the individuals for their ongoing efforts to suppress political opponents.

Castillo is the General Director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Service, which has been used to silence and manipulate independent media, the U.S. government said.

Castro is the Nicaraguan Minister of Health and has personally directed the denial of basic health care to wounded protestors.

Mojica is a retired Major General of the Nicaraguan military and current Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Porras is President of the Nicaraguan National Assembly and a lead architect of the Nicaraguan government’s punitive legal initiatives that have targeted civil society organizations in an effort to stifle any and all dissent.

Blatant disregard for human rights

“We call on Nicaragua to unconditionally and fully release all arbitrarily detained persons and protect the human rights of its citizens. As highlighted by today’s joint action with Canada, the United States and the international community will continue to promote accountability for those who blatantly disregard human rights and foment violence in support of the Ortega regime,” said the U.S. government release.

More than 62,000 Nicaraguans have fled the country as refugees during the unrest. Many of these refugees are ending up in Mexico and at the U.S. border.

Keeping up with changing sanctions

To keep up with changing sanctions violations, financial institutions should ensure that they are using updated sanctions lists as well as reputable third-party sources. Here are six points to consider:

  1. Use the updated version of the lists: Usually the lists are updated and amended by the relevant agency / regulatory body managing them.  A control should be in place to periodically check for list updates.
  2. Use reliable sources: There are numerous sources providing assistance in sanction list screening services. Any institution relying on these services should take into consideration the reliability of the sources of information. The most reliable lists are those directly issued by governing agencies or regulatory bodies.
  3. Assess the accuracy of the list: The sanction lists issued are usually in a format which can be easily edited, erased or modified.
  4. Look at geographic scope of list application: Institutions should determine which lists are to be screened in all jurisdictions of its operations and which are to be screened only locally, or within a certain jurisdiction or jurisdictions.
  5. Be aware of common prefixes, secondary names, suffixes: Be aware of naming customs and protocols, aliases, the use of non-Latin characters and more to be able to correctly identify sanctioned entities.
  6. Address duplicate values: In order to avoid any misidentification based on identifiable features such as repeated names or countries, the system search should be able to search on other identifiable features such as passport numbers. Solutions offered by third may make this search process easier.

To learn more about how Alessa can help your organization comply with sanctions screening, please contact us today.

About Anu Sood

Anu Sood (LinkedIn | Twitter) is the Director of Marketing at CaseWare RCM and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy. She has over 20 years of experience in product development, product management, product marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, content marketing and strategic marketing in high-tech industries.

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