The Government of Canada sanctioned 15 Ortega officials on Wednesday, July 14th. These include ministers, deputies, presidential advisers, senior leaders of the National Police, and Camila Ortega Murillo, a daughter of the presidential couple. The sanctions are “a response to the continuous human rights violations being committed in Nicaragua,” stated a press release.
The list of those punished includes the police chiefs: Ramon Avellan, Luis Perez Olivas, Justo Pastor Urbina, Juan Antonio Valle and Fidel De Jesus Domínguez Alvarez; the National Assembly deputies: Walmaro Antonio Gutierrez Mercado and Edwin Ramon Castro Rivera; the Minister of Finance, Ivan Acosta Montalvan; the president of the Central Bank, Ovidio Reyes; the Attorney General Ana Julia Guido; and the Electoral Council magistrate, Lumberto Ignacio Campbell Hooker.
The list is completed by: Jose Jorge Mojica Mejia; Marvin Ramiro Aguilar Garcia; and Julio Modesto Rodriguez Balladares.
These senior officials are in addition to nine government officials who were sanctioned by Canada in June 2019. These are: Rosario Murillo Zambrana, wife and vice president of Nicaragua; Laureano Facundo Ortega Murillo, son of the presidential couple; in addition to the president of the National Assembly, Gustavo Eduardo Porras Cortes, the former Minister of Health, Sonia Castro Gonzalez and Orlando Jose Castillo.
Oscar Salvador Mojica Obregon, Fidel Antonio Moreno Briones, Francisco Javier Díaz Madriz and Nestor Moncada Lau were also sanctioned.
In early July, Vice President Murillo attacked Canada for the case of recently discovered graves of indigenous children in former government boarding schools, which she called “immoral and absurd practices, not far from Hitler’s Nazism.” She said such findings disqualify Canada from criticizing the government of her husband, President Daniel Ortega.
“We do not grant Canada any power to continue judging our path,” she said, in a July 1 address.
“So many hypocrisies, ruling gentlemen of Canada, so much gall, so much human misery has no name or pardon. You boast of 60 years of relations (with Nicaragua), of judging, you dare to judge (…). How difficult is it for you to accept that your eyes are full of cobwebs and straws, we know it,” insisted Murillo.
That same day, the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry issued a press release stating: “That country (Canada), its rulers and its leaders, have exhausted the narratives of shamelessness, pretending to cover up barbarism, with reprehensible charities and vanities.”
“Likewise, we do not grant the Government of Canada any power to continue judging our ways of dignity, identity, values, honors and national decencies,” the statement added.
Canada has supported resolutions against the Ortega government in the Organization of American States (OAS), which insist that the former Sandinista guerrilla respect human rights and the Nicaraguan Constitution, release political prisoners, and guarantee that the November elections, in which he seeks another re-election, be transparent.