Sunday, December 31, 2023

Six more priests arrested in Nicaragua

Two More Priests Arrested by Ortega Dictatorship in Nicaragua - Ave Maria  Radio

The crackdown on the Catholic Church in Nicaragua continues with six more priests arrested in the night between December 29 and 30. 

In recent days, a total of 11 priests and Bishop Isidoro Mora of Siuna have been imprisoned.

They simply wish to be among their people, living and proclaiming the Gospel with coherence and freedom, yet they find themselves in jail. 

The wave of arrests of priests in Nicaragua shows no signs of stopping.

According to reports from exiled lawyer, Martha Patricia Molina, and opposition sources, on the night between Friday and Saturday, December 30, Police arrested six more priests, all belonging to the Archdiocese of Managua.

They are Miguel Mántica, parish priest of the Church of San Francisco de Asís; Silvio Fonseca, vicar of the Family, Life, and Childhood Commission of the Archdiocese; Mykell Monterrey, parish priest of Our Lady of Candelaria; Ismael Serrano, parish priest of St. Michael the Archangel; Gerardo Rodrígues, priest of the Church of the Immaculate Conception; and Raúl Zamora, priest of the Church of Divine Mercy. 

There are particular concerns for two of them, Serrano and Rodrígues, who are ill and in need of medical care.

A wave of arrests

In the preceding days, five other priests and the Bishop Isidoro del Carmen Mora Ortega of Siuna, had been arrested. The Bishop was detained after praying for Monsignor Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, iBshop of Matagalpa and Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Estelí. 

Monsignor Álvarez Lagos was sentenced to 26 years in prison without a fair trial, charged with conspiracy, spreading false information, obstruction of justice, and contempt for authorities. 

He has been in prison since February, following house arrest since August 2022.

UN condemnation

This situation has been denounced by the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, who stated that Nicaragua is increasingly moving away from the rule of law, particularly concerning fundamental freedoms. 

She pointed out that this exacerbates the suffering of the people, fuels the exodus of the youth, and undermines the future of democratic institutions. 

According to Al-Nashif, Managua authorities continue to persecute those who can contribute an alternative vision to the public sphere, including political and indigenous leaders, members of the Catholic Church, activists, and journalists, with repeated cases of arbitrary detention against those exercising their fundamental freedoms."