Controversial New Law Against Money Laundering

The law approved in Nicaragua empowers authorities to investigate and even intervene in businesses suspected of being linked to money laundering or terrorist financing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

With the support of government legislators and in the context of a crisis that is deepening every day, the National Assembly yesterday approved a new law that will provide more investigative faculties to the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF by its initials in Spanish), which, among other things, may sanction those who alter the constitutional order.

See "Crisis Exacerbates Credit Defaults"

Article 394 of the Approved Law, which refers to terrorism, indicates that "... those who cause death or serious bodily injury to persons who do not participate directly in hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, or destroy or damage public or private property, when the purpose of such acts, by their nature or context, is to intimidate a population, alter the constitutional order or compel a government or an international organization to perform an act or abstain from doing so ... " shall be punished with 15 to 20 years in prison.

The approval of the Law, which was formalised in an extraordinary session of the Legislative Assembly that was convened as a matter of urgency, generates suspicion in relation to what its execution will mean within the framework of the mass citizen protests that are being held daily against of the Ortega administration.

See also "Serious damage to the economy"

Regarding the application of the new Law, the opposition deputy Jimmy Blandón, told that "... this law seeks to regulate, supervise and control non-profit organizations, especially religious ones, and movements who are participating in the citizen marches, in the framework of the current crisis that Nicaragua is experiencing."

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Reports of suspicious transaction and the inclusion of government officials in the "politically exposed persons" category are part of the reforms to the law.

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The adoption of the standard was a requirement imposed by the U.S. for the disbursement of the Fomilenio II program.

From a press release issued by the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador:

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