Why the EU Sanctioned Murillo and Her Inner Circle

For the first time, the sanctions include Ortega’s top economic advisor, Bayardo Arce, and Supreme Court President, Alba Luz Ramos.

The human rights abuses committed against the citizens of Nicaragua had a fundamental weight in this Monday’s decision by the European Union (EU) to sanction Vice President Rosario Murillo, her son Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo, presidential adviser Bayardo Arce, two presidents of State powers, the attorney general, and two police chiefs. 

According to the document approved in Brussels on July 30, the resolution individually explains the reasons for the sanctions:  

Rosario Murillo, vice president: she is considered to be responsible for serious Human Rights violations and undermining democracy. They recall that, according to her husband and president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, she holds 50% of the power and they describe her as the leader of the Sandinista Youth with a fundamental role in promoting and justifying the repression carried out by the Police. They take note of her threats to government detractors and a June 2021 campaign to discredit opponents.

Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo, son of the presidential couple: his role as director of one of the Ortega family TV channels is highlighted, and his participation as part of the Sandinista May 4th Movement is cited. “He has contributed to restricting freedom of expression and freedom of the media,” the document states.

Bayardo Arce, Ortega’s chief economic advisor: he is described as having significant influence over the regime’s policies and human rights violations. They maintain that he supported legislation that prevents opposition candidates from participating in elections.

Alba Luz Ramos, president of the Supreme Court: in charge of manipulating justice in favor of the interests of the Ortega regime, through the selective criminalization of opponents, violations of due process, arbitrary detentions and disqualification of political parties and candidates from the opposition. She is responsible for undermining the rule of law.

Gustavo Porras Cortés, President of the National Assembly: member of the FSLN Directorate since 1996. Responsible for several repressive legal acts, including the Amnesty Law, which excludes investigating those responsible for the human rights violations in 2018. Likewise, for promoting measures that “threaten freedom and the democratic process.”

Ana Julia Guido Ochoa, Attorney General: loyal to Ortega and responsible for the prosecution of protesters for political reasons. She created a special unit to fabricate accusations against adversaries.

Juan Valle Valle, Police Commissioner: his leadership position in the security forces is highlighted. He is responsible for repeated acts of “police brutality and excessive use of force, which resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians, as well as arbitrary arrests and detentions, for violations of freedom of expression, and for thwarting demonstrations against the Government.” 

Fidel Domínguez, León Police Chief: he assumed the leadership of this department, in the west of the country, in August 2018. He is held responsible for numerous human rights violations, including the kidnapping of members of a political opponent’s family, violations of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

With these officials, there are now 14 members of the Ortega-Murillo inner circle sanctioned by the European Community. Here is the link to read all the reasons presented on Monday. 

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff



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