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They close the Facebook site of the diocese of Matagalpa directed by Bishop Álvarez

Facebook de la Diócesis de Matagalpa

The Facebook page of the Nicaraguan diocese of Matagalpa (north), headed by the imprisoned Bishop Rolando Álvarez, very critical of the Sandinista government Daniel Ortega, was eliminated, religious and Catholic groups in Nicaragua denounced this Thursday.

The page, which had more than 200,000 followers, 129,000 likes and which broadcast the homilies of Bishop Álvarez -when he was released- and those of the priests of the Matagalpa dioceses, was blocked after the arrest of two Catholic journalists who administered it. , according to the complaint.

“They have censored the official Facebook page of the Diocese of Matagalpa,” said the virtual group Católicos En Línea Matagalpa-Nicaragua through that same social network.

Related news: Nicaraguan dictatorship presents Monsignor Rolando Álvarez and accuses him of two alleged crimes

That account indicated that the page of the Diocese of Matagalpa “has not been available” since last December 14, three days after two collaborators of Bishop Álvarez, who administered it, were arrested.

International organizations demand the end of religious persecution in Nicaragua

The day before, on December 13, Bishop Álvarez was charged with the crimes of conspiracy to undermine national integrity and propagation of false news through information and communication technologies to the detriment of the State and Nicaraguan society. .

The 56-year-old hierarch, bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa, apostolic administrator of the diocese of Estelí, both in northern Nicaragua, will be seated in the dock on January 10, 2023, in an initial hearing.

The exiled Nicaraguan priest Uriel Antonio Vallejos is accused in the same case.


The two arrested informants who collaborated with the bishop, Manuel Antonio Obando Cortedano, head of media for the diocese of Matagalpa, and Wilberto Artola Mejía, journalist for the digital channel TV Merced, from that same diocese, were also accused by the Public Ministry that directs former Sandinista guerrilla Ana Julia Guido.

Álvarez is the first bishop arrested and accused since Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007 after coordinating a Government Junta from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.

They denounce that Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, priests and seminarians present effects on their health due to the confinement. Photo: Article 66

The Nicaraguan Police, led by Francisco Díaz, Ortega’s in-law, accuses the high-ranking officer of trying to “organize violent groups,” allegedly “with the purpose of destabilizing the State of Nicaragua and attacking the constitutional authorities.”

The arrest and accusation against the Nicaraguan bishop, seven other priests and the two collaborators is the most recent chapter in a particularly turbulent year for the Nicaraguan Catholic Church with the Ortega government, which it has branded as “coup plotters” and “terrorists.” ” to the hierarchs.

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

The Catholic community represents 58.5% of the 6.6 million inhabitants of Nicaragua, according to the last national census.

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