The United States on Tuesday accused the Nicaraguan government of trying to intimidate financial institutions by blocking the accounts of Nicaraguan officials who have been sanctioned, and gave an example of the case of the executive president of the Production Bank (Banpro), Luis Rivas.
Banker Rivas, who has been detained since June 15, was accused on Monday by the Nicaraguan Public Ministry of the crime of conspiracy to undermine national integrity.
“The arrest of Banpro’s chief executive, Luis Rivas, for allegedly inciting foreign interference, appears to be a desperate and inhuman attempt to intimidate financial institutions that are complying with international sanctions,” said the Western Hemisphere Affairs Office of USA in a message on Twitter.
In the message, sent to the press by the US embassy in Managua, Washington considered that with the arrest of Rivas, two and a half months ago, it was “indicated that the radical repression of President (Daniel) Ortega would go beyond the opposition and of his critics, and he would seek to punish anyone who has crossed paths with him and the kleptocracy he has established in Nicaragua ”.
He argued that Banpro, which is part of the Promerica financial group and is “the largest bank in Nicaragua, has blocked accounts of government officials sanctioned by the United States, Canada, the European Union,” and that Rivas, an economist by training who He held positions in the Administration of former Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolaños (2002-2007), “he may be paying the price.”
The international sanctions have affected about 30 companies, officials, relatives and relatives of President Ortega , among them his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, four of his children, in addition to his father-in-law and director of the Police, Francisco Díaz, and the head of Parliament, Gustavo Porras.
The Prosecutor’s Office accused Rivas along with dissident ex-Sandinista guerrillas Hugo Torres and Víctor Hugo Tinoco, and opposition leader Suyén Barahona , of the crime of conspiracy to undermine national integrity, in accordance with articles 410 and 412 of the Penal Code, in detriment to Nicaraguan society and the State of Nicaragua.
Rivas is one of the 24 political leaders and independent professionals who have been accused by the Prosecutor’s Office in the last eight days for the alleged crimes of conspiracy to undermine national integrity or money laundering.
Arrested and accused
Among the accused are Cristiana Chamorro , Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, who before being arrested last June had announced their intentions to run for the presidency in the elections on November 7, in which the president seeks a new reelection.
As part of the electoral process, the Nicaraguan authorities have arrested 35 opposition political leaders , including seven who expressed their intention to compete for the presidency in the November elections, as well as independent professionals.
Ortega, a former Sandinista guerrilla who is about to turn 76 years old and who returned to power in 2007 after coordinating a Government Junta from 1979 to 1984 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990, is seeking his fifth term, fourth in a row, and second with his wife, Vice President Murillo.