LatinNews Daily - 16 May 2024

In brief: US blacklists Nicaraguan mining firms, among other sanctions

*The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) has announced sanctions on two Nicaraguan government-affiliated gold mining companies, Compañia Minera Internacional S.A. (Comintsa); and Capital Mining Investment Nicaragua, S.A. (Capital Mining) for generating revenue for the administration led by President Daniel Ortega which it accuses of an “anti-democratic campaign of repression against its citizens”. The US government previously targeted Nicaragua’s gold mining sector with sanctions in October 2022. Gold is Nicaragua’s top commodity export. Also yesterday, Ofac announced sanctions on a police training centre which opened in October 2017, which it describes as a “Nicaragua-based subdivision” of Russia’s interior ministry which “has enabled the regime’s brutal repressive tactics”. Ofac also highlighted that yesterday the US Department of State issued over 250 visa restrictions on Nicaraguan officials, for their roles in supporting the government crackdown. These include “police and paramilitary personnel, penitentiary officials, prosecutors, judges, and public higher education officials, as well as select non-government actors”, according to the US State Department. Since November 2021 the US has taken steps to impose visa sanctions on over 1,400 Nicaraguan officials. Also in relation to Nicaragua, Ofac highlighted that the US Departments of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security are jointly releasing an advisory to alert the travel industry of “the ways in which smugglers are facilitating illegal migration to the US and remind the industry of key steps that they should take to avoid complicity in the exploitation of migrants”.

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