After the preliminary hearing held against the priest Manuel Salvador García Rodríguez, pastor of the Jesús de Nazareno church, in Nandaime, Judge María Graciela Monterrey Vélez ordered preventive detention for the priest. The priest is accused of the alleged crime of physical and psychological violence.
During the preliminary hearing, the Public Ministry accused the priest for allegedly attacking the citizen Martha Candelaria Rivas Hernández, 57, who assures that he had an “intimate friendship with the accused”, during which time he claims he suffered physical violence. García was assisted by a Public Defender, as he did not have his own lawyer accredited.
In this hearing, the judge set the initial hearing for June 17 where they will determine if there are enough elements for the accused to be sent to an oral and public trial. Last week, Rivas denounced, through official media, that the priest hit her on the right cheekbone with a padlock.
The Public Ministry offered five witnesses, including Martha Candelaria Rivas Hernández, her daughter Esmeralda Nohemy Sánchez Hernández. Also accredited as witnesses were policemen Humberto José Sánchez López; Lieutenant Gabriela Suyén Urbina and the Commissioner, Johana Plata Tijerino.
Before the complaint was known, residents of Nandaime recorded the exalted priest, carrying a machete in the atrium of the temple and arguing with those who filmed him, who in turn challenged him to blows, threatened to stone him and shouted “murderer, clown and father of lies.
Until last May 25, the National Police maintained surveillance over two parishes where a bishop and a priest were present, who described the presence of law enforcement officers as a siege and harassment.
That led Bishop Rolando Álvarez, a critic of the government of President Daniel Ortega, to begin a day of indefinite fasting, prayer and exorcism until what he described as a police siege ended.
The Nicaraguan opposition has condemned what it considers to be a smear campaign by the Executive and the Sandinistas against the Catholic Church, and has recalled the persecution that the religious suffered during the first Sandinista regime (1979-1990) where a bishop was exiled, a priest stripped naked, ten others expelled and one accused of being a “counterrevolutionary.”