Press Releases

Treasury Sanctions Senior Nicaraguan Government Officials, Increasing Pressure on President Ortega’s Regime

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two senior Nicaraguan government officials, Julio Cesar Aviles Castillo and Ivan Adolfo Acosta Montalvan for supporting the corrupt Ortega regime. Since April 2018, the Ortega regime has cracked down on political opposition, leading to more than 300 deaths, 2,000 injuries, hundreds of political and civil society actors imprisoned, and over 100,000 refugees fleeing the country.

“The Ortega regime’s continued violations of basic human rights, blatant corruption, and widespread violence against the Nicaraguan people are unacceptable,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will target those who prop up the Ortega regime and perpetuate the oppression of the Nicaraguan people.” 

Julio Cesar Aviles Castillo and Ivan Adolfo Acosta Montalvan are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13851 “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua.” 


Julio Cesar Aviles Castillo (Aviles) was designated for being a current official of the Government of Nicaragua as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nicaraguan Army. Aviles, who is politically aligned with President Ortega, refused to order the disbarment and dismantling of paramilitary or “parapolice” forces during and after the political uprisings that began on April 18, 2018. The military provided weapons to the parapolice who carried out acts of violence against the Nicaraguan people, which resulted in more than 300 deaths, significant acts of violence, and human rights abuse against persons associated with the protests. 


Ivan Adolfo Acosta Montalvan (Acosta) was designated for being a current official of the Government of Nicaragua as the Minister of Finance and Public Credit in Nicaragua. Acosta has continued to arrange significant financial support to the Ortega regime. Additionally, Acosta personally threatened banks to not participate in a strike organized by opposition leaders in March 2019, the purpose of which was to push for the freeing of political prisoners. 


As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by such individuals are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. 

Identifying information on the individuals designated today