Police accused Bishop Alvarez, who is stuck in his home with 12 other priests and laity, of trying to “organize violent groups” and inciting “acts of hate” to destabilize President Daniel Ortega’s government.
And the Bishop of Nicaragua, surrounded by police for three days in his episcopate and accused of “Incitement to hatred‘Denounced the Sabbath’house arrest».
«They told us we are in the home prisonBishop Rolando Alvarez said during the mass celebrated on Saturday by his bishop Matagalpa (130 km northeast of Managua), broadcast on social networks.
Riot police deny access to the episcopate, preventing the bishop from going to his cathedral a few streets away to celebrate mass there.
The police accused Archbishop Alvarez, who has been under siege since Thursday, along with 12 other priests and laity, of trying to “to organize violent groups“to encourage”acts of hateTo destabilize the government of President Daniel Ortega.
The police announced on Friday that they didOpen an investigation to determine the criminal responsibility of the people involved in these criminal acts». «People under investigation will stay at home”, as the police identified. Several Latin American bishops gave their support to the 55-year-old bishop, who was critical of the authority.
«The embargo against priests and bishops, the expulsion of church members, the desecration of churches and the closure of radio stations (in Nicaragua) affect us severely.Peruvian Bishop Miguel Cabrigos, President of the Episcopal Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (SELAM), said.
«Doesn’t give him immunity»
The Vatican has not yet reacted to the events in Nicaragua. The Bishop of Matagalpa regularly condemns the repression against opponents and demands respect “religious freedomHe accuses the government of wanting todumb church»To silence over injustice.
«Doesn’t give him immunityOn Friday, MP Wilfredo Navarro of the Sandinista party, Daniel Ortega, warned in an article published on the website of public television channel 4.He, along with other parish priests, led the coup attempt (against Daniel Ortega) that caused so much suffering and tears in Nicaragua.» in 2018.
The relationship between the Catholic Church andDaniel Ortega’s government The tension has been since 2018 when protesters demanding the resignation of the Nicaraguan 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) Archbishop Valdemar Sommertag in March.
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 killed, hundreds of thousands imprisoned and tens of thousands exiled, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
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