The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) expressed its concern on Tuesday about the situation of Bishop Rolando Álvarez, besieged in the Matagalpa curia (north) since last week by the National Police, who accuses him of trying to organize “violent groups” .
“One more day of imminent risk for Monsignor Rolando Álvarez and people who accompany him in the episcopal curia, one more day of danger of losing life, security, freedom and personal integrity,” the Cenidh said in a statement.
Álvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí (north) is part of a group of at least 12 people, including 5 priests, who were besieged by police agents last Thursday, and the following day the Police accused him of trying to “organize violent groups.”
The police actions against Álvarez began last Thursday, after a group of police prevented the celebration of the morning mass in the Matagalpa Cathedral, before which the bishop went out to pray with the Blessed Sacrament on high, and then he turned his back on the agents to kneel and cry out to God.
According to the Police, the prelate, who is currently under investigation, seeks to “destabilize the State of Nicaragua and attack the constitutional authorities.”
The Cenidh pointed out that the bishop and his companions are also the subject of “a series of information released to public opinion, denied, repeated again that they are practically causing a general commotion of the population, a state of anxiety and collective hysteria” .
“We denounce these crimes to the world, we denounce Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo (president and vice president, respectively) to the world. What else can be done in Nicaragua? (…) Generating false news seems to be the regime’s new weapon of mental destruction,” added Cenidh, which described said action as “torture.”
Relations between the Sandinistas and the Nicaraguan Catholic Church have been marked by friction and mistrust in the last 43 years.
Ortega branded as “terrorists” the Nicaraguan bishops who acted as mediators of a national dialogue that sought a peaceful solution to the political and social crisis that the country has been experiencing since April 2018.
The situation in Nicaragua has worsened after the controversial elections last November in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with his main contenders in prison.