The Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor) ordered Nicaraguan cable operators to remove channel 51, Canal Católico, which belongs to the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN), from its grid. The removal was immediate because at the time the cable companies informed the population about this decision, the signal was no longer being transmitted.
“We inform our subscription television users that according to instructions from Telcor, the regulatory entity, channel 51, Canal Católico, is being removed from the service’s programming grid,” Claro Nicaragua said in a brief statement released on its social networks.
The expulsion of cable television occurs less than 24 hours after Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, took refuge in Managua after being besieged by National Police officers.
At the time of the removal from the grid, this channel was transmitting a series of religious activities promoted by the Catholic Church in support of the indefinite fast that Monsignor Álvarez began this Thursday. Likewise, since this morning the place where he remains a refugee was guarded by officers of the National Police.
“I have to say to all these police brothers who are surrounding and surrounding the temple of Las Colinas: I have nothing against them, I love those who were chasing me all day yesterday and I recognize that you receive orders and carry them out. I love the National Police Headquarters, who are the ones who, receiving orders, also give them,” he said in a homily given at five in the afternoon this Friday, when they took Channel 51 off the air.
Also, in his reflection he said “I love the rulers, the president and the vice president, I have nothing against you, my heart is free.” The religious also pointed out that his action of fasting indefinitely is not motivated by “petty, secondary, or worldly interests. We do not seek human powers, we do not need them.
After the announcement of the cancellation of the Catholic Channel, Monsignor Silvio Báez, auxiliary bishop of Managua, expressed on his Twitter account: “Even if the dictatorship takes the Catholic Channel of the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference off the air, everything will be useless. The Church will continue to proclaim the Gospel of hope and justice”.
“The Word of God is not chained” (2Tim 2,9). Even if the dictatorship takes the Catholic Channel of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua off the air, everything will be useless. The Church will continue to proclaim the Gospel of hope and justice. @ClaroNicaragua https://t.co/tGDMiPS5xs
– Silvio José Báez (@silviojbaez) May 20, 2022
For its part, the Diocese of Matagalpa published a statement in which they point out that “the Church understands that the situation in the country is not the best to express thoughts out loud, the persecution suffered by our brothers, like that of our Bishop Monsignor Rolando José Álvarez, is to silence her in her service to the truth”, they point out, citing biblical passages.
They also ask “the authorities involved to stop this behavior and respectfully allow each brother to develop his rights, freedoms and human and constitutional guarantees without obstacles and fear.”
This Thursday night, the bishop of Matagalpa published a video on his social networks in which he denounced that agents of the National Police, controlled by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, persecuted him throughout the day and even invaded the house. of a relative For this reason, the religious decided to start a water and serum fast to demand that his rights of free movement and privacy be respected.
“They came to my private, family, paternal, maternal home, putting the safety of my family at risk. So, I returned to the parish of Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, here in Las Colinas, where I want to thank Monsignor Carlos Avilés, who has given me lodging, and has welcomed me as a guest in this parish”, described Monsignor Álvarez.
The priest also explained that this harassment is not new, because he suffers from “photo-taking” every time he goes out on the streets. However, given this escalation of repression, he decided that he will remain “indefinitely” in the Santo Cristo de Esquipulas parish in Las Colinas.
This week, the priest Harving Padilla, from the San Juan Bautista parish in Masaya, also denounced that the regime has imposed “parish for jail”, because it is surrounded by police and paramilitaries. Meanwhile, the priest Uriel Vallejos, parish priest of the Divina Misericordia de Sébaco parish, denounced being a victim of police harassment.
Likewise, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Managua was pronounced this Wednesday in the face of the wave of repression and the State’s intentions to imprison priests for alleged “treason against the country.” In a statement published on their social networks, the bishops emphasized that they will continue to denounce “social structures of sin” and accompany the poorest and weakest Nicaraguans.