The U.S. announced sanctions against three high level Nicaraguan officials, for their participation in "grave" human rights violations and corruption.
The three people targeted were Francisco Díaz, a deputy chief of the national police force who is seen as the force’s de facto head; Fidel Antonio Moreno Briones, the secretary of the Managua mayor’s office; and Francisco López, the treasurer of the country’s ruling party as well as the vice president of the oil company Albanisa. (New York Times)
The three are close to President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. They join the ranks of another ally, Roberto Rivas, who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury last year. (Confidencial)
U.S. officials emphasized the role of Díaz -- whose daughter is married to one of the president's sons -- in encouraging abuses, and referenced the case of a family of six, with two infants, killed when their house was set on fire in Managua. (See yesterday's briefs.)
Moreno is accused of ordering acts of violence carried out by Juventud Sandinista members and "parapolice" groups operating against opposition protesters, reports Confidencial.
U.S. officials said more actions would be likely if violence in Nicaragua continues, and urged the Ortega administration to accept calls for early elections and continue negotiations with opposition activists mediated by the Catholic Church. (CNN)
An attack by police and parapolice aimed at dismantling opposition barricades in León killed at least three people, wounded dozens and has left 20 disappeared, reports Confidencial.
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