The commissioner and director of the Masaya Police, John Valley Valleypreferred to stay outside the San Jerónimo church and not enter the parish, as he did yesterday, Monday, September 19, during the descent of San Miguel Arcángel, the co-patron of the city.
In images, the sanctioned police chief is shown leaning out with a group of officers, without going inside the temple. According to sources, “Valle Valle avoided being booed once again by an entire town.”
«She was afraid of the Masayas, because yesterday she saw her pale in San Miguel. He plays brave with his vultures (police), but soon Masaya and Nicaragua will be free,” said a follower of Article 66 in the social networks of this means of communication.
On Sunday, the 18th, Valle Valle walked in the San Miguel de Masaya church —according to ecclesiastical sources— to “remind” the father in charge of the temple, Ramón López, that the image would not go out into the streets.
In addition to police harassment, the regime prevented a group of philharmonics and citizens from reaching the parish of San Jerónimo. For their part, the parishioners shouted at the police officers who were blocking their way: “Long live the Catholic Church!”
More than 300 police officers besieged Masaya
As for the siege to which the parishioners were subjected, the Police at the service of the Ortega dictatorship ordered more than 300 agents from the Police Special Operations Directorate to surround the religious site.
This intimidating act, according to the lawyer Yader Morazán, is a crime against religious freedom and worship. “Disturbing the constitutional right to manifest religious or ceremonial acts (art. 69 of the Political Constitution of Nicaragua), constitutes a crime (art. 190 CP)” he exposed on his social networks.
“Wearing a uniform does not exempt you. The Police, instead of limiting that right, is obliged to eliminate the conditions that prevent its exercise,” added the specialist in the administration of justice and former official of the Nicaraguan Judicial Branch.
Despite the attacks on the Catholic Church, the parishioners were able to gather this Tuesday in the parish of San Jerónimo to dance to the venerated image, shouting «Long live San Jerónimo! Long live the Catholic Church! Long live the priests! Long live Nicaragua!
This is the first time that Saint Jerome has not gone out to walk the streets of Masaya by order of the Nicaraguan government, however the Catholic Church has called for continuing to participate in religious activities, despite police harassment.
So far, Nicaraguan justice keeps seven Catholic priests behind bars, including Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa. Ortega has also forced another 50 into exile.