US hits Nicaraguan officials with travel bans over violence

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is placing travel bans on police and government officials accused of human rights abuses in Nicaragua.

The State Department said Thursday that visa restrictions would be imposed on officials responsible for recent deadly violence against demonstrators in anti-government protests that erupted in mid-April. It said the violence by police and "pro-government thugs" was unacceptable and showed a blatant disregard for human rights.

The department did not identify the officials or say how many would be affected. However, it did say they included members of the National Police, municipal governments and at least one Health Ministry official in the capital of Managua and cities of Leon, Esteli and Matagalpa.

In some cases, it said the family members of affected officials could also barred from traveling to the U.S.

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