The Conference of the Mexican Episcopate (CEM) pronounced itself in favor of the Catholic Church of Nicaragua and criticized the recent attack against Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, whom the Police have in “house hold” in Managua.
The CEM’s statements come after the Ortega Police raided the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa in the early hours of Friday, August 14, and arrested the priest along with other priests and laity, who remained under police siege for 16 days and paramilitary.
Álvarez was taken to the home of one of his relatives in Managua and the other seven people were sent to the Judicial Assistance Directorate (DAJ) in Managua, known as “El Nuevo Chipote”.
“Faced with the illegal deprivation of liberty of Msgr. Rolando José Álvarez, bishop of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate reiterates its closeness and solidarity with the people and the Church in Nicaragua,” says part of the statement dated March 19. August.
The Bishops of Mexico emphasize that they “deeply regret” the situation in the country and that “it has been getting worse day after day.” “With firm hope we trust that the Nicaraguan authorities reconsider and resume respect for the individual guarantees of each person, thus ending the deterioration that this deprivation of liberty has caused, revealing a serious attack on the fundamental human rights of all people, as They are freedom of expression and religious freedom.
“In unity with the universal Church, we raise our voice as more Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and the rest of the world have done to demand the immediate release of Bishop Álvarez and his collaborators,” stresses the CEM.
At the same time, they demand that the authorities of the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo respect the rights and guarantees of Nicaraguans who have been victims of siege and repression since 2018.
The priests concluded by exhorting all the people of Mexico to join in prayer “so that through the interception of Santa María de Guadalupe, Empress of America, freedom is restored for the Church and for all the beloved Nicaraguan people.”
This Saturday, August 20, Monsignor Álvarez is serving more than 24 hours of “home shelter” at the home of his relatives in Managua, imposed by the Ortega Police, who point out that he is “promoting instability and anxiety in the Nicaraguan people.”
The repressive actions against the religious have been condemned nationally and internationally, demanding the immediate end of the repression and harassment. Álvarez is one of the most critical religious voices of Ortega.