The European Council (“the Council”) on Monday imposed sanctions on eight Nicaraguan individuals, including Vice President Rosario Murillo, for serious human rights violations and actions that “undermined democracy or the rule of law.” Murillo also happens to be Nicaragua’s First Lady.
Noting that its previous calls to the Nicaraguan government to abide by its own Constitution and commitments, comply with international human rights laws and standards, and open meaningful dialogue with the opposition on electoral reforms have failed, the Council stated:
The political situation in Nicaragua has further deteriorated in recent months. The political use of the judicial system, the exclusion of candidates from the elections and the arbitrary delisting of opposition parties are contrary to basic democratic principles and constitute a serious violation of the rights of the Nicaraguan people…The detention of a seventh potential presidential candidate last weekend sadly illustrates the magnitude of the repression in Nicaragua and projects a grim picture for the upcoming elections…Today’s additional sanctions demonstrate that the EU continues standing ready to use all its instruments to support a democratic, peaceful, and negotiated solution to the political crisis in Nicaragua.
The Council first began imposing sanctions on Nicaragua in October 2019, after repeatedly expressing its concerns about the deteriorating political and social situation in the country since April 2018 and firmly condemning the repression of political opponents, demonstrators, independent media and general civilians.
The number of individuals sanctioned from the country has now risen to 14. Effectively, sanctioned individuals will have their assets frozen while EU citizens and companies are prohibited from providing them access to funds. The sanctioned individuals are also subject to a travel ban that prohibits them from entering or traveling through EU territories.