After the Ortega justice, through the Police, accused several Dioceses of the Catholic Church of Nicaragua for the crime of money laundering, opponents have pointed out that the objective of the Daniel Ortega regime is to “annihilate” the religious institution.
For the lawyer and member of the political council of the Blue and White National Unity (Unab) Juan Diego Barberena “What the dictatorship intends with this latest repressive escalation is to annihilate a Catholic Church that has been on the side of truth, justice, freedom and democracy.”
He also stressed that the Ortega and Murillo administration “intends to leave the Church without any type of capacity so that it continues to be a space for the exercise of resistance by the Nicaraguan people and that it maintains its position of continuing to freely exercise its right to profess a faith”.
Regarding the accusation against the Church, of alleged money laundering, Barberena said that this accusation has already been a repressive tonic to criminalize the exercise of certain rights. “We must bear in mind that this statement – the one from the Police – is quite confusing because it does not establish the amount of money or the circumstances in which they were found.”
He also remarked that the accusation “does not establish any causal link for the existence of money laundering because said crime is the legitimization of capital that has an illegal origin through legal businesses, and in this case there are no details or circumstances of any associative framework that tells us that the Catholic Church of Nicaragua is committing the crime of money laundering.”
Arturo McFields: “The cardinal could be jailed”
For his part, the former Nicaraguan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Arturo McFields told Article 66 that “it gives the feeling that Ortega wants to exterminate the Catholic Church.”
“There are even two options that Ortega has, first, to bet on a model like the one in China in which the Catholic Church has to submit to the Government, sign books, be accountable to the State as if it were its Vatican, even that the bishops They are directly appointed by Ortega and Murillo, but what we are seeing gives the feeling that they are betting on the extermination of the Church, rather than a coexistence of total submission,” analyzed the opponent.
On the other hand, McFields warned of a possible arrest of Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua. «I see it that way from the moment they are asking him to account. It must be remembered that although he is the cardinal, there is a president of the Episcopal Conference, but it is he who is asked to account ».
“Ortega is testing the waters and could expressly imprison the cardinal as a form of pressure and to exercise some kind of absolute control and to show that he is in charge of the Church in Nicaragua and not the Vatican; and this arrest could be a real and imminent threat in the Nicaraguan context.”
In a statement from the Police, dated May 27, the regime assures that, after an alleged complaint, which does not specify by whom, they proceeded to investigate and found “hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden in bags in dioceses of the country.” The statement is superficial and opaque as it does not give further details.