Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Alvarez Receives 26-Year Sentence

Monsignor Rolando José Álvarez in the Criminal District Courts of Managua, on December 13, 2022. Photo: Taken from 19 Digital

In an express closed-door political trial on February 10, a court at the service of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship, condemned the bishop of Matagalpa for fabricated crimes.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – A court of the Ortega-Murillo regime sentenced the bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Alvarez, today in a secret express political trial, to 26 years and four months in prison, calling him a “traitor to the homeland” and fabricating the crimes of “undermining national integrity, propagation of false news through information technology, obstruction of functions or aggravated disobedience, all in the detriment of Nicaraguan society.”

In addition, the regime ordered the religious leader to be stripped of his nationality, as it did with the 222 political prisoners released into exile on February 9th.

Monsignor was transferred on Thursday to the La Modelo prison in Tipitapa, after he refused to board the plane that would take him to the United States along with 222 other political prisoners who were exiled.

In a public address, dictator Daniel Ortega said that when Alvarez was lining up to get on the plane, “he began to say that he was not leaving. That he first had to meet with the bishops, and he demanded a meeting with the bishops. How absurd, if there is a decision of the Nicaraguan State, which he cannot question.”

Ortega continued: “Faced with that decision by the Nicaraguan State, Alvarez said that he would not abide by it. It was a resolution of a court of justice sending him out of the country, and he said he would not comply if he did not meet with the bishops. Then, since the other priests were already on the plane, he said the authorities should call the priests, because he had to talk to them.”

The first bishop arrested

Alvarez, 56, is the first bishop arrested and accused since Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007. The bishop was abducted at dawn last August 19 by police from a provincial curia along with four priests, two seminarians and a cameraman, after having been confined for 15 days. He was placed incommunicado under house arrest ever since.

The Police, led by Francisco Diaz, Ortega’s in-law, accused Alvarez of trying to “organize violent groups”, supposedly “with the purpose of destabilizing the State of Nicaragua and attacking the constitutional authorities,” although they provided no evidence.

The prelate has been taken without his religious clothing to the hearings held at the Managua Judicial Complex.

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