Relations between the Nicaraguan authority and the local Catholic Church were strained. On Friday, August 5, the Nicaraguan police announced that they had opened an investigation into “criminal acts”And the denounced “Create a situation (…) under the auspices of the Bishop of Matagalpa”trapped since Thursday in his bishop by the police.
In an official statement, the police authorities accuse “Higher Powers of the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Matagalpa”Led by Bishop Mlove Rolando Jose Alvarez Lagos, of An attempt to organize violent groups and incite them to commit acts of hatred against the population.
The “Procedures” for the church “For the purpose of destabilizing the State of Nicaragua and attacking the constitutional authorities”The police press release confirms that it has “Open an investigation to determine the criminal responsibility of those involved in these criminal acts”.
“A cat does not get away with it”
Mlove Rolando Alvarez, a critic of President Daniel Ortega’s government, celebrated a mass on Friday that was broadcast by his bishop on social media live from his bishop Matagalpa, 130 kilometers northeast of the capital, Managua. riot police Keep blocking the street. of Episcopalianship, denounced during this post. The main door and garage are closed too. By police, the 55-year-old bishop, who since Thursday has been denied access to his cathedral, is four blocks away. “We are in the episcopate. No one can leave or enter”described to the French news agency (AFP) one of the priests holed up with Mr. Alvarez.
“Those who are under investigation will stay at home.”It also identifies the police who, since Thursday, have prevented the bishop and the priests accompanying him from leaving the episcopal see. Mlove Alvarez had called Thursday for respect ” Freedom “ Religious after the closure of several Catholic radio stations by the authorities and denounced ” Provocation “ policeman.
MP Wilfredo Navarro of Daniel Ortega’s party denounced the Sandinistas on Friday “a provocative stance” Bishop of Matagalpa. ” [Rolando Alvarez] incites violence (…) He did it already in 2018. Remember, he led the coup attempt with other priests [contre Daniel Ortega] who caused so much suffering and tears in Nicaragua.”The deputy said in an article published on the website of the public television channel Kanal 4. “A cat does not get away with it”Mr. Navarro warned.
The European Union condemns the closure of many Catholic radio stations
“We support religious people, like Rolando Alvarez, who with dignity, cohesion and courage are resisting the persecution of the Ortega government”The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) said on Twitter.
The European Union on Thursday condemned the closure “default” This week from several Nicaraguan Catholic radio stations as well as use ” Unprecedented “ Violence since 2018 to intimidate opponents of the government.
Relations between the Catholic Church and Mr Ortega’s government have been strained since 2018 when protesters calling for the resignation of Nicaragua’s president took refuge in churches. President Ortega accused the Catholic Church of complicity in the coup attempt orchestrated by Washington. The crisis even led to the expulsion of the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican Ambassador) M.love Waldemar Sommertag.
Daniel Ortega, a 76-year-old ex-Sandinista fighter, was re-elected in November 2021 for a fourth consecutive presidential term, in a ballot that missed all of his potential opponents, after they were either arrested or forced into exile.
Protests calling for his resignation were bloodily suppressed in 2018, with at least 355 people dead, hundreds of thousands imprisoned and tens of thousands exiled, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.