PanaTimes

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

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

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people
U.S. added 517,000 jobs in January, snapping five-month string of slowing employment growth
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
×