Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, is locked up along with five priests, two seminarians, two choristers, and two cameramen.
HAVANA TIMES – Members of the different parishes of the Diocese of Matagalpa revealed that the Police are preventing the delivery of medicines and food to the twelve Catholic faithful – six priests, two seminarians, two choir members, and two cameramen being held “hostage” by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, in the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa.
At the head of the group of “hostages” is Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, and the priests: Jose Luis Diaz and Sadiel Eugarrios, first and second vicar of the Cathedral San Pedro, respectively; Oscar Escoto, pastor of the church Santa Maria de Guadalupe; Ramiro Tijerino, rector of the University Juan Pablo II and in charge of the parish San Juan Bautista; and Raul Gonzalez.
The seminarians Darvin Leyva and Melkin Sequeira; cameramen Sergio Cardenas and Flavio Castro and the chorists Henri Corvera and Sujin Membreño, who was released on Tuesday.
On August 4, the Ortega police surrounded the curia and prevented the bishop and the other eleven people from leaving. A day later, the Police issued a press release informing that Alvarez is under investigation for allegedly “organizing violent groups” and “carrying out acts of hatred”. It also indicated that “the persons under investigation will remain in their homes”.
In an online homily on August 6, the Bishop of Matagalpa affirmed that he does not know what he is being investigated for, noting that “they will be making their own conjectures”.
No medicine and little food
The twelve people locked up by the Police do not have medicines inside the Curia and the police institution has prohibited their entry, according to information gathered by CONFIDENCIAL.
Some of the religious persons, locked up in the curia for five days now, suffer from chronic hypertension problems that require daily medication.
It was also learned that the group has little food, and began to ration since they do not know how long the regime intends to keep them locked up and without access to any food supply.
Residents and owners of businesses near the curia indicated that the area remains “taken over by the police” and that the agents take “photographs of those who must pass through there”, and even the businesses have been forbidden to make home deliveries, to avoid the circulation of motorized vehicles.
On Sunday and Monday there was no live transmission of the midday Eucharist, which Monsignor Rolando Álvarez assured would be held every day while they remained locked up. According to the newspaper La Prensa, the “hostages” decided to restrict communication with the outside world for fear that the police had tapped their telephones, so they are only communicating with “people they trust”.
The CEN (Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua) informed on its social networks that Alvarez inaugurated the participation of the Nicaraguan Church in the World Youth Day campaign this Monday, August 8. The event will to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2023.
Persecution against the Catholic Church
The Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN) reaffirmed its support for Monsignor Rolando Alvarez through a press release this Sunday, highlighting that the situation suffered by the bishop “touches our hearts as bishops and the Nicaraguan Church”. The bishops, quoting a speech of Benedict XVI, expressed the feeling of the Church which, by nature, “proclaims the Gospel of Peace and is open to collaborating with all national and international authorities to take care of this great universal good”.
In the last two months, the regime of Ortega and Murillo undertook a repressive escalation against the Catholic Church that so far, has left two priests imprisoned, 18 religious expelled from the country, two priests under siege, one of them now under house arrest, and the closure of a dozen Catholic radio and TV media.
Priest Manuel Salvador García Rodríguez, parish priest of the Jesus de Nazareno church -also known as El Calvario-, in Nandaime, Granada, was the first to face the justice of the regime, being sentenced on June 22 to two years in prison for the alleged crime of threatening five people with a knife and a fine.
On July 6, 18 Missionaries of Charity, an order founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, were expelled from the country, being transferred from Managua and Granada to the border with Costa Rica, by Immigration authorities and the Police.
Monsignor Leonardo Urbina, priest of the Perpetuo Socorro parish in Boaco, has been in preventive detention since July 13, awaiting trial for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Priest Uriel Vallejos and a group of parishioners remained besieged by the police for almost four days in the parish house of the Jesús de la Divina Misericordia parish, in Sebaco.
In addition, between August 1 and 2, the regime closed 14 media outlets: eleven radio stations, ten belonging to the Diocese of Matagalpa, and the independent Radio Vos. They also forced off the air several cable TV channels and the local channel RB3 “El Canal de la Zona Láctea”, whose programming was transmitted through subscription television.