Ortega’s Police Kidnap Two More Journalists from Matagalpa

Nicaraguan Police patrol the downtown streets of Matagalpa, near the Episcopal Curia, in August 2022.

“He was leaving his house with his brother-in-law and they both took them away,” a source confirmed to Mosaico CSI.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Manuel Antonio Obando Cortedano, a journalist from the Catholic Diocese of Matagalpa, where he worked as media chief, was kidnapped by police officers on the night of Sunday, December 11, in the city of Matagalpa.

“It is known that he (Obando) was leaving his house with his brother-in-law and they took them both away,” confirmed a source to the digital outlet Mosaico CSI. Hours later, Luis Perez, Obando’s brother-in-law, was presumably released, but it is still unknown if Obando was taken to the departmental police unit in Matagalpa or to another place.

Obando was the person who accompanied the bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, Monsignor Rolando Jose Alvarez, on pastoral tours. Alvarez has been in captivity for almost four and a half months.

Also on Sunday night, journalist Wilberto Artola, who worked for the cable television channel TV Merced, was also kidnapped.

The Police were looking for other former employees of the Diocese’s media which were shut down at different times by the Ortega regime.

TV Merced was censored at noon on June 27, 2022 by order of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor).

“Today, the Day of Perpetual Help, we have been notified by Telecable that Telcor has removed us from the grid of said company. We entrust ourselves to the Virgin. And we ask ourselves again: why are they doing this? God help us,” Bishop Alvarez tweeted that night.

Subsequently, on August 1 and 2, Telcor executed the closure of at least nine stations managed by different parishes in the Diocese of Matagalpa.

On August 1, when Telcor executed the closure of Radio Catolica de Sebaco, the Police kept the parish priest Uriel Antonio Vallejos, in a forced confinement for more than 72 hours.

In the early hours of August 4, the Police took Father Vallejos to a seminary in Managua and soon after carried out an operation to force the confinement of Monsignor Alvarez, initially along with 11 other people.

On August 19, Monsignor Alvarez was taken to his family’s home in Managua, while three priests, a deacon, two seminarians and a TV Merced cameraman, were imprisoned in El Chipote and are being accused of the alleged crime of “conspiracy to undermine national integrity, and propagation of false news through information and communication technologies”.

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