Police and a mob of Ortega supporters attacked inhabitants that protected the Saint John the Baptist Church of Masaya
By Ivette Munguia (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – A group of fanatics of Daniel Ortega supported by National Police agents, attacked parishioners of the Saint John the Baptist Church, in Masaya, where a mass was celebrated on Thursday in support to Fr. Edwin Roman, who accompanied ten mothers in their hunger strike in another church in the same city.
The women and the priest—together with three more citizens–remained, nine days, surrounded by police inside the Saint Michael Archangel parish, in the same city with its water and electricity cut off. In breaking news on Friday night, the hunger strikers, the priest and those accompanying them were rescued by the Red Cross.
Ortega’s supporters tried to enter the Saint John Baptist church, but the parishioners prevented it. At that moment, young Amilcar Montenegro was beaten and kidnapped.
While the youngster was beaten, some Ortega’s supporters shouted to call a patrol to take him away, as can be heard in a video of Confidencial’s reporter, Ivette Munguia, whom the mobs also tried to beat.
A member of the church’s choir, Jeffry Alexander, denounced the detention of his friend Amilcar Montenegro. “I wanted to help him but couldn’t do it alone. A boy dressed in black began to beat him. He is a friend of mine,” he said.
The attack by the Sandinistas took place under the watchful and permissive look of riot police agents, who did nothing to prevent the aggression.
As a protection measure, the parishioners and altar boys closed all the doors of the temple and secured them with the church benches. Inside remained journalists from national and international media.
Despite the attack and besiegement, priest Harving Padilla continued with his service and calmed the spirits of hundreds of people trapped in the parish, including a dozen national and international journalists. The priest denounced that it is the second time that supporters of Ortega desecrate that Catholic temple and held the leaders of the Sandinista Front in the city of Masaya responsible.
“The Mayor himself (Orlando Noguera), who claimed to be a faithful man of God, is a scorpion, is evil. How can he behave like that? Wanting us (the priests) to sell our conscience to them (the party),” pointed out Padilla during the sermon.
If they had peace in their hearts, “they would not come to damn their souls by beating us, innocent people who are not carrying sticks, or iron as they did,” Padilla said. Minutes later, he urged the international community to continue supporting the demand for justice and democracy made by Nicaraguan society.
An hour and a half after the attack, parishioners, journalists and the priest were able to leave the church after neighbors and believers from different parts of Masaya approached the temple to back those detained. “Father friend, the people are with you,” they shouted. The Ortega mobs, who were a minority, withdrew to the side of the parish and gradually left the place.
After the intrusion by the Ortega mobs in the temple, Father Padilla suspended a procession that would have gone from the Saint John Baptist temple towards the Saint Michael Archangel church, where priest Edwin Roman together with a group of people on a hunger strike remained trapped.