Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

U.S. imposes sanctions, visa restrictions on Nicaragua over repression, migrant smuggling

By 37ci3 May15,2024

WASHINGTON – The United States on Wednesday imposed visa restrictions on more than 250 members of the Nicaraguan government and sanctioned three Nicaraguan entities in retaliation for “repressive actions” and a failure to curb migrant smuggling through the Central American country.

Senior administration officials told reporters that officials subject to visa restrictions include police and military officials, prosecutors, judges and public higher education officials.

At the same time, the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Treasury issued a joint warning to inform airlines and travel agents about the ways in which smuggling and human trafficking networks use legitimate transportation services to facilitate illegal migration to the United States through Nicaragua.

“The actions of the Nicaraguan government are of serious concern. President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo have implemented permissive migration policies,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

The Nicaraguan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As some smugglers promote the route through social media, more and more migrants are flying into Nicaragua and then overland north to the US-Mexico border.

In recent years, many migrants have started their journey in Brazil or other South American countries, but flying to Nicaragua prevents them. an often dangerous journey through a jungle region known as the Darien Gap on the Colombia-Panama border.

Administration of the President Joe BidenThe Democrat has struggled with record numbers of migrant crossings at the US-Mexico border while running for re-election in Novembervoters increasingly say immigration is a top concern.

High-ranking officials of the Biden administration told reporters at a conference held on Wednesday that sanctions will be applied against the Russian training center that has been operating in Managua since October 2017 and has facilitated anti-democratic behavior and repression.

Nicaragua is one of Russia’s “key partners” in Central America, and the training center has provided specialized courts to the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP), according to a Treasury Department press release. , using live bullets against peaceful protests and even participating in death squads.

In addition, the Treasury Department has sanctioned two gold companies it says are “affiliated with the government.”

The Treasury announcement said gold is Nicaragua’s main commodity export and that “this action is intended to undermine the ability of the Ortega-Murillo regime to manipulate and profit from the sector.” Reuters could not immediately reach the companies for comment.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that according to U.S. government data, detentions of migrants at the border halved from December to March.

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By 37ci3

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