The Nicaraguan police reported on Thursday the arrest of the priest Jaime Iván Montesinos Sauceda, parish priest of the Juan Pablo Segundo Church, located in Matagalpa, in the north of the country.
In a releasethe entity stressed that the 61-year-old religious man was arrested when he was traveling in a van to the interior of the country after being accused of “committing acts that undermine the independence of the nation”, a crime contemplated in Law 1055.
The police, led by Francisco Díaz, in-law of President Daniel Ortega, indicated that “investigative procedures” will be carried out and they will refer the priest to the competent authorities for prosecution.
Montesinos Sauceda is the third parish priest that the Ortega government has opened investigations in just one week.
The priests Eugenio Rodríguez Benavídez, parish priest of the Divina Providencia Church, and Leonardo Guevara Gutiérrez, of the Cathedral of Estelí, are also being investigated by the authorities for the administration of a recently closed NGO.
The Catholic Church reported that both priests were “required” by the National Police on May 20 and 22, respectively.
They denounce a “fierce persecution” against the Catholic Church
The arrest of the religious occurs in a context where human rights organizations denounce “fierce persecution” by the Ortega government against priests, whom it has branded as “coup plotters” for harboring protesters in temples in 2018.
Ortega has also lashed out at Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, calling it “a perfect dictatorship.”