The night Bishop Álvarez was seized, the other priests, seminarians, and a layman who were confined in the chancery with him were also taken away and are being held in the El Chipote prison, known for torturing opponents of the regime.
Those imprisoned there are Fathers Ramiro Tijerino, José Luis Diaz, Sadiel Eugarrios, and Raúl González; seminarians Darvin Leyva and Melquín Sequeira; and cameraman Sergio Cárdenas, all from the Diocese of Matagalpa.
Another priest who is being held in El Chipote is Father Oscar Benavidez of the Diocese of Siuna.
These prisoners have also reportedly been indicted but for what crimes is unknown.
In other attacks, the Ortega dictatorship expelled in March the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag.
The former auxiliary bishop of Managua, Silvio Baez, has been living in exile in the United States after it became known that Ortega’s government had very probably ordered his assassination.
In addition, the Missionaries of Charity, founded by St. Teresa of Calcutta, were expelled in July and were welcomed in neighboring Costa Rica by the bishop of Tilarán-Liberia. The Religious of the Cross of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were expelled this month and returned to Mexico, where the congregation was founded.
In fewer than four years, the Catholic Church in Nicaragua has been the target of 190 attacks and desecrations according to the investigative report “Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church? (2018-2022)” by attorney Martha Patricia Molina Montenegro, a member of the Pro-Transparency and Anti-Corruption Observatory.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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