Nicaraguan dictatorship takes over Catholic school; three nuns may be deported soon

Daniel Ortega Daniel Ortega. | Credit: Harold Escalona / Shutterstock

The Nicaraguan dictatorship took over a Catholic school in the early hours of May 29 and will probably soon deport three foreign nuns belonging to the congregation that administers it.

According to local media outlet Mosaico, the regime’s police took over the facilities of the St. Louise de Marillac Technical Institute, the only secondary school in the town of San Sebastián de Yalí in the Jinotega administrative district.

The school, where about 100 students are enrolled, is administered by the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Louise de Marillac in the Holy Spirit, founded in 1992.

“It’s a small school, but with a long history and a lot of prestige,” a resident of San Sebastián de Yalí told Mosaico.

According to the Nicaraguan media, the police officers justified the takeover of the school by stating that they must review the school’s documentation.

“There are approximately six nuns, including an elderly one who is blind. They have been very good, also very supportive of the poor in the neighborhood, and they have never had any problems with anyone, because they have been very much of God,” the resident related.

Three of the nuns, who are foreigners, could be deported in the next few days.

On May 31, Martha Patricia Molina, a Nicaraguan lawyer and researcher who lives in exile, told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, that the seizure of the school would be the step prior to the dictatorship expropriating it.

“In the next few days we will already be able to see the order to the attorney general’s office to confiscate it,” she warned.

“For the dictatorship, which always acts arbitrarily, a document establishing the confiscation is not necessary, because all the actions they carry out are already in and of themselves a law for them,” lamented Molina, the author of “Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church?”

The report details that in the last five years there have been at least 529 attacks by the Ortega regime against the Church, 90 so far in 2023.

It particularly notes the unjust imprisonment of Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who was sentenced to 26 years and four months on the charge of treason; 32 nuns expelled from the country; seven Church buildings confiscated by the regime; and various media outlets shut down.

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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