Mgr Rolando Alvarez LagosBishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, has been deprived of his liberty for 257 days by order of the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
On August 4, 2022, the religious leader was blocked by the Police from leaving the Matagalpa Episcopal Curia, and for 15 days he was surrounded by dozens of police officers.
After this onslaught, dozens of opponents, human rights defenders, priests, including Pope Francis have demanded the freedom of the hierarch.
«Monsignor Álvarez has been unjustly imprisoned for 257 days. We demand his freedom and the end of the persecution of the Church! #LibertadParaMonseñorAlvarez #SOSNicaragua», recently wrote, on his Twitter account, the University Alliance (STILL)which daily emphasizes the arrest of the bishop.
For his part, the university leader and former politician Max Sherry said to Article 66 that Monsignor Álvarez must be released in order to continue exercising his priestly ministry in Nicaragua.
However, he asserted that “the dictatorship has shown that it is afraid and absolutely afraid of the leadership that Monsignor Álvarez represents in his community in Matagalpa and the weight that he has as a voice that has risen in the midst of difficulties for Nicaraguans.”
He stressed that the prelate “is a voice that has always been sending messages of encouragement, hope, and struggle to Nicaraguans, and the dictatorship is afraid of that; That is why we —EVEN— continue to demand that the kidnapping of Monsignor Álvarez end and that he be released because he is innocent ».
“We are continually raising our voice in a permanent campaign for their release, as well as the release of the more than 45 political prisoners that still exist in Nicaragua,” added the also president of AUN.
Locked in La Modelo
The harassment against the prelate was consummated in his arbitrary detention, when police and riot police assaulted the Episcopal Curia in the early hours of the morning of the 19th of the same month, also arresting priests, seminarians and a layman who were accompanying Monsignor Alvarez.
The Ortega court accused the bishop of alleged conspiracy against the country, reducing him to “house arrest”, however, on February 2023, the Nicaraguan dictatorship locked him up in the Jorge Navarro Penitentiary System, known as “La Modelo”. , in Tipitapa, after refusing to be exiled to the United States along with 222 other former political prisoners.
In addition, on the 10th of the same month, he was sentenced to 26 years in prison, charged with treason against the country, for allegedly violating Law 1055, the Sovereignty Law. This legal tool was approved to persecute opponents of the regime.
Álvarez Lagos has been held captive in “La Modelo” for more than 80 days, where only on one occasion was he able to be visited by his relatives and exhibited in the government propaganda media. Currently, he has not been able to be seen for more than a month and his current situation is unknown.
The also apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí is one of the most critical voices of the Ortega y Murillo regime that does not stop its harassment and repression against the Nicaraguan people and the Catholic Church.