Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua concerned about the migratory wave

Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua concerned about the migratory wave

The Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua expressed its concern this Thursday about the migration crisis that the country is suffering, which, it assessed, “is a reflection of a human drama that challenges us”, and in turn celebrated the return of face-to-face activities after the pandemic.

“The reasons for joy do not prevent us from recognizing the concerns we have about the social, political and economic events of our country. Above all, among others, the migratory crisis, which is a reflection of a human drama that challenges us,” said the Nicaraguan Episcopate in its annual Advent message, one of the most anticipated by Nicaraguan Catholics.

Between October 1, 2020 and September 30 of this year, the United States authorities detained 239,469 undocumented Nicaraguan migrants, an unprecedented number, according to the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

File photograph, taken on October 19, in which a group of Venezuelan migrants were recorded sleeping on the ground, in the bus terminal of the “El Mayoreo” market, in Managua (Nicaragua). EFE

Those 239,469 Nicaraguan migrants represent 3.9% of the total population of Nicaragua, estimated at 6.6 million inhabitants.

THEY ASK TO MAKE NICARAGUA “A COUNTRY OF BROTHERS”

In their message, the Nicaraguan bishops also advocated always doing good and walking together as brothers.

“We must all walk together, no one should be left behind; We must all have the chance to develop and make Nicaragua a country of brothers”, highlighted the Episcopate.

“Let us always seek to do good, so that we speak more and more as brothers and leave out individualism,” he urged.

Related news: Episcopal Conference of Paraguay condemns the attacks against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has been in a political and economic crisis for 55 months, which in 2018 left at least 355 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although local organizations raise the figure to 684 and the government of President Daniel Ortega recognizes 200.

The crisis was accentuated in the general elections of November 7, 2021, in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth in a row and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with his main contenders in prison.

TWO BISHOPS DID NOT SIGN MESSAGE

The Episcopal Conference, which mediated between the Ortega Executive and the opposition to overcome the crisis that erupted in April 2018, did not refer in its message to the almost 10 priests who remain in prison, including the bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, both in northern Nicaragua, Rolando Álvarez, accused of being a rebel.

Álvarez, a member of the Episcopate, like the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua and exiled in the US, Silvio Báez, and did not sign the episcopal message, the first because he was under house arrest and the second outside the country.

Related news: Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua breaks the silence on Monsignor Álvarez: “If a member suffers, we all suffer with him”

Last month, President Ortega lashed out at the Catholic Church led by Pope Francis, accusing it of not practicing democracy, of being a “dictatorship” and a “perfect tyranny” and of having used “its bishops in Nicaragua to give a coup d’etat” against his government in the context of the demonstrations that broke out in April 2018 over controversial social security reforms.

The arrest of Bishop Álvarez and the other eight priests is the most recent chapter in a particularly turbulent year for the Nicaraguan Catholic Church with the Ortega government, which has branded the leaders as “coup plotters” and “terrorists.”

Relations between the Sandinistas and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua have been marked by friction and mistrust in the last 43 years.



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