The Nicaraguan National Police announced Friday that it has opened an investigation against high authorities of the country’s Catholic Church for allegedly inciting violent acts with the intention of destabilizing the country.
“Taking advantage of their status as religious leaders, using media and social networks, (the Church) is trying to organize violent groups, inciting them to execute acts of hatred against the population (…) with the purpose of destabilizing the State of Nicaragua,” the Police has assured in a statement.
Specifically, the Nicaraguan authorities have arrested Bishop Rolando Alvarez, belonging to the Diocese of the city of Matagalpa, in the center of the country.
Alvarez, a critic of the government of Daniel Ortega, denounced this Friday that the police are keeping the episcopal curia of Matagalpa, where he lives, under siege for the second consecutive day.
This is the second time that the Government of the country imposes a blockade on Bishop Alvarez. In May 2021, the prelate took refuge in a church in Managua, which was also besieged by the Police, the local newspaper ‘Confidencial’ has reported.
Alvarez is one of the most critical voices within the Church with the Executive of Daniel Ortega. He recently denounced the alleged injustice of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post (Telcor), by closing ten Catholic radio stations of the Diocese, arguing that they did not have permission to operate, when the same prelate had requested it since 2016.
This has not been the first confrontation between the Government of Daniel Ortega and the Church in Nicaragua. In July 2022, 18 nuns were expelled for considering the Church “oppositionist and coup-monger”.