The sanction imposed by the United States on Distribuidora Nicaragüense de Petróleos SA (DNP) and its subsidiary Inversiones Zanzibar, has been a blow to the Ortega-Murillo family, since for the last ten years the oil company earned some US$426 million dollars in profits, according to calculations made by César Arévalo, a market specialist.

DNP Petronic gas stations look empty and without customers after being economically sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department. Oscar Navarrete / La Prensa

DNP is a business that had been run by Yadira Leets Marín, ex-wife of Rafael Ortega Murillo, eldest son of the power couple Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

Until September of last year, Leets appeared in the licenses granted to wholesalers, according to a document of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), according to documents in possession of La Prensa.

The business started with the abrupt removal of the concession in 2009 of Glencore, the Swiss-British consortium, following the opinion of Agustín Jarquín Anaya, when he was Comptroller General of Nicaragua, who on more than one occasion indicated that the concession contract for the distribution of fuel that the state-owned Petronic had given to the Swiss-British consortium Glencore was illegal because it did not have the approval of the National Assembly.

The decision to cancel the Glencore concession came two years after Daniel Ortega returned to power.

According to La Prensa report, Glencore’s contract was declared void by the Comptroller in July 1999, but the government of Arnoldo Alemán (1997-2002) rejected the resolution. Glencore obtained the concession for the distribution of fuel in 1999, that until now the exact terms are unknown.