PanamaTimes

Friday, Apr 19, 2024

Nicaragua bishop critical of Ortega under house arrest after raid

Nicaragua bishop critical of Ortega under house arrest after raid

Church and rights advocates condemn detention of Ronaldo Alvarez, who police say is under house arrest in Managua.

Nicaraguan authorities have placed a Roman Catholic bishop critical of President Daniel Ortega under house arrest, after a pre-dawn police raid on Ronaldo Alvarez’s home drew condemnation from the church, rights groups and international observers.

Alvarez, the head of the northern diocese of Matagalpa, had been under house arrest in a church house in Matagalpa for two weeks along with five priests, one seminarian and a cameraman for a religious television channel.

“#SOS #Urgente. At this time the National Police have entered the Episcopal rectory of our Matagalpa diocese,” the diocese had posted on social media early on Friday as the raid in Matagalpa was underway.

Police later said they had taken Alvarez to the capital Managua, where he remains under house arrest, while the cameraman and clerics had been transferred to a prison in the city.

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes said he had visited Alvarez in his family home at an unspecified time, and that his spirit was intact though his “physical condition had deteriorated”.

The raid was slammed by public figures and religious groups, while a spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was very worried. Pope Francis has not commented on the crackdown.




The pre-dawn raid came after Nicaraguan authorities accused the bishop of “organising violent groups” and inciting them “to carry out acts of hate against the population”.

Pablo Cuevas, a lawyer with the non-governmental Permanent Committee on Human Rights, condemned Alvarez’s detention but said it was not unexpected. “What was obviously going to happen has happened, the arbitrary and abusive arrest of Monsignor Alvarez,” he said in a video message.

The Nicaraguan authorities have detained at least three priests in recent months while others have gone into exile amid a sweeping government crackdown on Ortega’s critics in the months leading up to and following elections last November.

Dozens of opposition figures, including several who sought to challenge Ortega’s re-election bid, were detained, and many have since been sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

The relationship between the Catholic Church and the government has been severely strained after a harsh crackdown on anti-Ortega protests in 2018.

The action against Alvarez, 55, started with riot police preventing him from leaving home to say mass earlier this month, and days later the bishop announced he was effectively under “house arrest”.




Ortega, Nicaragua’s longtime leader, won a fourth consecutive term in office after a November 2021 vote that the United States, European Union and other international observers denounced as a “sham”.

Days before the elections, Ortega accused Nicaraguan bishops of having drafted a political proposal in 2018 on behalf “of the terrorists, at the service of the Yankees … These bishops are also terrorists”.

In March, Nicaragua expelled the papal nuncio, the Vatican’s top diplomat in Nicaragua.

“With a heart full of pain and indignation, I condemn the nighttime kidnapping of Monsignor Alvarez,” exiled Nicaraguan Bishop Silvio Baez said in a tweet on Friday about the police raid.

The head of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, also condemned the detentions in a statement and demanded “their immediate freedom and those of all political prisoners”.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×