Nicaraguan police arrest Bishop Álvarez, priests and assistants
By James Blears
Bishop Rolando Álvarez had been confined to his residence for two weeks along with five priests, a seminarian, and a cameraman of a religious television channel. The priests and the cameraman have reportedly been put in prison in the capital, while the Bishop is under house arrest.
A police statement said authorities had been waiting for several days for what they called a positive communication from the Diocese of Matagalpa, which had not been forthcoming. No formal charges have been announced.
The Conference of Latin American Bishops has voiced its concern about the situation and its support for Bishop Álvarez. The UN has also voiced grave concern and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has condemned this action, demanding those detained must be immediately released.
Following the 2018 nationwide protests in Nicaragua, Bishop Álvarez called for free and fair elections, monitored by international observers.
The government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, initially considered mediation by the Church. But in the run-up to last year's Presidential Election, dozens of opposition politicians and seven potential Candidates were arrested. Most have since been tried and jailed.
In March, Archbishop Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag, the Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua, was expelled.
Bishop Álvarez advocates mediation leading to peaceful solutions to help Nicaragua.
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