On Tuesday, the US Government announced sanctions against Nicaragua’s Vice President, Rosario Murillo, and one of her aides, Nestor Moncada Lau. Murillo is the wife of President Ortega. In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “Vice President Murillo and her political operators have systematically sought to dismantle democratic institutions and loot the wealth of Nicaragua to consolidate their grip on power.”
The statement describes Maurillo as the ‘de facto co-president‘ since 2017, and sets out her links to organisations that have been accused of human rights violations –
Murillo is also a leader with access and influence over the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)’s youth organization, known as the Sandinista Youth, and the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP). The Sandinista Youth and the NNP are entities that have, or whose members have, engaged in serious human rights abuse in Nicaragua. According to public reports, the NNP have been part of “Death Squads” that have engaged in extrajudicial killings, torture, and kidnapping, while Sandinista Youth paramilitaries, armed and paid by the FSLN, have been implicated in serious human rights abuses related to the ongoing protests against the Nicaraguan government, including attacks on protesters. Further, in June 2018, masked gunmen, accompanied by individuals identified by witnesses as Nicaraguan police, reportedly set fire to a family home in Managua, killing six, including two young children. Finally, Murillo has a long history of engaging in acts of corruption related to Nicaragua.
As these sanctions were issued, so the US Embassy in Managua warned of heightened animosity towards Americans. If you are American or could be mistaken for an American, we recommend you take immediate steps to maintain your safety.
- You should avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events.
- Be aware that protests against American organisations and businesses are likely and avoid areas that are potential targets.
- Review your travel risk management plan, so you know exactly what to do in an emergency.
- Register with your local embassy, giving them accurate contact details.
- Make sure you have important contact information stored in a secure offline location.
- Monitor local media.
- Set aside some supplies of food and bottled water. Make sure you know where your first aid kit is and review the contents.
- Keep your devices charged. Do not travel without a fully charged device.
- Check in regularly with friends and family. Agree check in times in advance and set up a plan for what to do if you miss a check in time.
- If something does happen, contact the local embassy as soon as it is safe to do so.
For media sources, the US Embassy recommends ‘100% Noticias, also known as Channel 15 or Channel 63 on cable, and Radio Corporación offer nearly 24/7 news coverage.’
In April, protests erupted in response to proposed changes to the social security situation. These rapidly became widespread and violent, with government forces cracking down on protests. Our timeline of coverage shows how the crisis unfolded –
- April 20, 2018: Quick Read: Second Day Of Violent Clashes Due To Social Security Overhaul In Nicaragua
- April 23, 2018: Nicaragua: Travel Advice After At Least 26 Killed And Dozens Injured In Protests, Including Journalist Shot Dead During Live Broadcast
- April 23, 2018: Quick Read: Cop Hurt By Homemade Bomb During Protests In Nicaragua
- April 25, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaraguan Police: Two Officers Dead, 121 Injured During Protests
- April 25, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Riots: US State Department Pull Embassy Staff Out Of The Country Amid Mass Violence
- April 25, 2018: Nicaragua: US Embassy Issues Security Alert With Further Travel Advice For Citizens Impacted By Unrest And Violence
- April 26, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaraguans Seek To Return To Normal Life After 8 Days Of Violent Protests
- April 27, 2018: Travel Advisory Tweet >> Us Embassy In Nicaragua Still Affected By Unrest, Running Limited Operations
- April 30, 2018: Quick Read: Death Toll In Nicaragua Protests Rises To 42
- April 30, 2018: Quick Read: Argentina Cancels Friendly In Nicaragua Over Security Concerns
- May 3, 2018: Quick Read: Riot Police Block March Protesting Nicaragua Government
- May 3, 2018: Nicaragua: As Unrest Continues, The Latest Advice From The Fco And The Us Embassy In Managua Plus Some Headlines
- May 8, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua: Vandals Carry Out Attacks On Families During Vigils
- May 11, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Protests: Tens Of Thousands In New Anti-Government Rallies
- MAY 14, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Under Pressure, As Violence Continues
- May 24, 2018: Nicaragua: Peace Talks Suspended Due To Lack Of Progress As Us Embassy Advises You Should Stockpile Food, Monitor Media – Travel Advice
- May 25, 2018: Quick Read: New Protests, Blockades In Nicaragua After Suspension Of Dialogue
- May 29, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua: Anti-Government Protests Turn Violent Again
- May 30, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Unrest: Government Colluding With Mobs, Says Amnesty
- May 31, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua: Armed Protesters Attack, Burn Buildings In Managua
- June 1, 2018: Quick Read: At Least 13 Dead As Police And Militants Open Fire On Peaceful Protesters In Nicaragua
- June 4, 2018: Quick Read: Two Nicaraguans, One American Die In Nicaragua Violence
- June 4, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Police End Church Siege After Day Of Terror In Masaya
- June 6, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Protests: Five More Killed As Unrest Continues
- June 18, 2018: Nicaragua: Family Killed In Arson Attack As Peace Talks Continue – Latest News, Plus Advice And Insights For Travellers
- June 19, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Dialogue Suspended Due To Government Non-Compliance
- June 20, 2018: Quick Read: Violence Flares Up In Nicaragua After Suspension Of Peace Talks
- June 21, 2018: Quick Read: Violence In Nicaragua Undermines Peace Talks 2 Months Into Uprising
- June 25, 2018:Quick Read: Nicaragua Unrest: Baby Among Five Killed In Fresh Protests
July – November
- July 11, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Crisis: ’38 Killed In Bloodiest Day’ – Ngo
- July 11, 2018: Quick Read: Unrest Causes Travel Advisories In Haiti And Nicaragua
- July 16, 2018: Quick Read: After Major Protests, National Strike Empties Streets In Nicaragua
- July 16, 2018: Quick Read: Violent Nicaragua Protests Claim Another 10 Lives: Rights Group
- July 17, 2018: Quick Read: ‘They Wanted To Kill Us All’: Nicaragua Reels After Bloody Church Siege
- July 20, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua: What’s Driving The Uprising And What Comes Next?
- July 25, 2018: Quick Read: Brazilian Student, 3 Others Killed In Nicaragua Amid Unrest
- August 6, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaragua Police Bar International Media From Covering Anti-Government Protests
- September 10, 2018: Quick Read: Nicaraguans Hold Third National Strike Against President Ortega
- October 26, 2018: Quick Read: Why Travel With The Caravan? To Avoid One Of The World’s Most Dangerous Smuggling Routes.
- November 16, 2018: Quick Read: Thousands Flee Nicaragua To Escape Government Crackdown
Official travel advice
A very brief overview of official travel advice for Nicaragua. Click through on the links to read the advisories in full. (We highly recommend you do this if you are contemplating a trip.)
|US State Department||‘Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to crime, civil unrest and limited healthcare availability.’|
|UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office||‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Nicaragua.’|
|Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade||‘We now advise Australians to reconsider your need to travel to Nicaragua.’|
|New Zealand’s Safe Travels||‘Avoid non-essential travel to Nicaragua due to civil unrest and violent crime.’|
|Government of Canada||‘Avoid non-essential travel to Nicaragua due to civil unrest, which has been occurring throughout the country since April 2018.’|
|Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade||‘We advise Irish citizens in Nicaragua to avoid non essential travel.’|
#Nicaragua Demonstration Alert: Recent public announcements have heightened the risk of demonstrations against the United States. As a precautionary measure, Embassy personnel are instructed to limit their activities until further notice. https://t.co/uc2L2LQ4aw pic.twitter.com/taGT5yRF9K
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) November 27, 2018
Location: Nicaragua, countrywide
Event: Recent public announcements have heightened the risk of demonstrations against the U.S., and, as a precautionary measure, Embassy personnel have been instructed to limit their activities until further notice.
Actions to Take:
- Avoid demonstrations and leave the area immediately if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
- Do not attempt to drive through large groups or barricades encountered on the street.
- Minimize your public activities. If you fear for your safety, leave the unsafe area as quickly as possible.
- Monitor local media for updates. 100% Noticias, also known as Channel 15 or Channel 63 on cable, and Radio Corporación offer nearly 24/7 news coverage.
Please click through here for more information, including contact details.
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