Nicaraguan Catholic bishop returns to prison after failed negotiations

Nicaraguan Catholic bishop returns to prison after failed negotiations

Nicaraguan Catholic Bishop Rolando Álvarez was returned to prison after negotiations between the government and Church representatives over the terms of his release failed, local media reported on Wednesday.

Citing ecclesiastical and diplomatic sources, Confidential reported that talks stalled on whether or not Álvarez would consent to leave Nicaragua, as well as on the possible release of other imprisoned priests.

Monday night, the priest would have been releasedstarting negotiations on whether he would be expelled from the Central American country, a diplomatic source told Reuters. Already then, the possibility was being considered that the ecclesiastic could be returned to prison if he refused to leave the nation governed by Daniel Ortega.

The bishop, a prominent critic of the Ortega government, was sentenced in February to 26 years in prison on treason charges, after he refused to be removed to the United States.

The conflict between the Catholic Church and the government dates back to 2018, when religious leaders were asked to mediate anti-government protests that left more than 300 dead.

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