MANAGUA ( Associated Press) – Nicaraguan police announced Friday that they have filed a lawsuit against Monsignor Rolando lvarez, the bishop of the city of Matagalpa, for allegedly “organizing violent groups” and inciting them to “commit acts of hatred.” An “investigation process” is initiated. population”.
In a press release, the National Police indicated that a number of people would be involved in the investigation, including Bishop—a religious figure highly critical of Daniel Ortega’s government—and warned that they would leave their homes during the investigation process. will not be able to leave.
In recent hours, Monsignor lvarez has been confined to the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa, 130 kilometers north of Managua, where he also lives, as police prevent him from leaving the building. This Friday he presided over a mass gathering surrounded by dozens of police officers and anti-riot soldiers from the same location.
The police announcement comes hours after Vice President and First Lady, Rosario Murillo, criticized the “sins of low spirituality” and “demonstration of hatred”, in a clear indication of Monsignor lvarez.
“Hate is a crime, and every crime is a crime that must be investigated and the institutions concerned must take measures, so that violence or hatred never again tries to take away our peace,” he warned.
Earlier, Sandinista deputy Vilfredo Navarro, one of the parliament’s directors, accused Monsignor lvarez of putting on “a media show” before the police and “inciting violence and disorder once again”.
Navarro said Alvarez, along with other priests, directed the state’s “failed coup”, alluding to the 2018 social protests that toppled the Ortega regime. He said then the churches were “caves of criminals and murderers” and today the bishops of Matgalpa are “re-turning the church into barracks where weapons were kept and where violence was planned.”
“He has the blood of Nicaraguans, policemen and slain Sandinists scattered on his head,” Navarro argued, after pointing out that “it’s not Mr. Alvarez above the law” and “his cassock doesn’t give him impunity. “
During a home broadcast on social networks, Bishop Alvarez confirmed that he had spiritual power. “What are we going to do with the priests and youths who are housed in our Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa? We have joy in our hearts, inner strength and peace in our lives,” he assured.
Last Monday, the Ortega government shut down eight radio stations and a television channel in Matagalpa, due to alleged technical issues. Seven of the closed stations belonged to the provincial diocese that lvarez administers, including Radio Católica of the municipality of Sebaco, whose priest Uriel Vallejos was surrounded by police inside the northern city of Casa Curral.
According to local media, Vallejos may have managed to leave the place at a “safe place” on Thursday night, but this information has not been confirmed by the priest.
In the city of Matagalpa, police have since Wednesday cordoned off the area around the residence of Bishop Alvarez, who defied armed agents from the corner of his house by crucifixion. He was later stopped by police from leaving his home at a mass ceremony at the cathedral and has since blocked access to his residence and barricaded Kuriya.
The Nicaraguan government is jailing about 190 people, according to the opposition, most of them arrested during the 2021 election campaign, after which Ortega was re-elected for a fourth consecutive term. Seven of those caught were ex-candidates for the presidency who wanted to dispute power.