Regime “instrumentalizes” alleged victims in cases against priests

Prosecutor’s Office accuses seven religious who lived through the siege with Monsignor Álvarez

The Nicaraguan dictatorship responded by manufacturing more legal proceedings against priests of the Catholic Churchsix days after Pope Francis publicly admitted that there are talks with the Nicaraguan Executive in the midst of a persecution of the religious sector increased in recent months.

Despite the fact that the regime’s prosecutors continued this Friday, September 23, without presenting an accusation against the Bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Jose Alvarezaccused of “organizing violent groups” and “fostering hatred” by the Police, decided to proceed without specifying the charges against three priests, a deacon, two seminarians and a cameraman who lived under police siege with the Catholic hierarch in the Curia of Matagalpa between the 4th and the 19th of last August.

According to the electronic system of the judiciary, the accused priests are Ramiro Tijerino Chavezrector general of the John Paul II University; Jose Luis Diaz Cruzvicar of the Cathedral of Matagalpa and his predecessor Sadiel Antonio Eugarrios Cano. All of them have been in isolation since August 19, when they were transferred to the El Chipote police prison, while the bishop was forcibly detained by the same police at his family home in Managua.

The other accusations were against the deacon Raul Antonio Vegathe seminarians Darvin Leiva Mendoza Y Melkin Ryeas well as the photojournalist Serge Chain Flowers. As has happened on other occasions, both the prosecutor and the judge have a history of subordinating their judicial decisions to the political will of the regime.

Prosecutor and judge with a repressive background

The accusation was presented from September 21 by the prosecutor Manuel de Jesus Rugamawho has stood out persecuting political prisoners, just like Judge Nalia Nadezdha Úbeda Obando, of the Fifth Criminal Court District of Managua. Both are part of the judicial machinery, made up of 15 officials who have finalized the judicial fabrications that have sent at least 205 Nicaraguans to Nicaraguan prisons for political reasons.

Also: These are the 15 judges and prosecutors who execute the orders against political prisoners

The dictatorship maintains a sustained smear campaign against the Catholic Church, which has denounced the human rights abuses committed by Ortega and his repressive machinery since 2018, whom they have accused of being coup plotters without evidence. But he intensified it further since the end of last May with the persecution of Álvarez, a prestigious human rights defender, when he was besieged in a parish he visited in Managua.

Last June, the regime imprisoned the priest Manuel García de Nandaime, the month after Monsignor Leonardo Urbina in Boaco and later to Óscar Benavidez, a priest from the Diocese of Matagalpa who worked in Mulukukú, for whom they asked the judge for 90 days to investigate without specifying under what charges.

Ortega also expelled the Apostolic Nuncio in an event that was painful for the Vatican, closed seven stations in the Diocese of Matagalpa and expelled the missionaries of charity.

“In Nicaragua the news is clear, there is dialogue, there has been talk with the government. There is dialogue, but this does not mean that everything the government does is approved or disapproved,” he said. Pope Francis on September 15.

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