Nicaragua expels A group of priests, including Bishop Álvarez to Rome

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Among those released is also Bishop Isidoro Mora and 13 other priests arrested in December.

The Nicaraguan government released on Sunday two Catholic bishops, including Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, a strong critic of President Daniel Ortega, 13 priests and three seminarians, and sent them to Rome, secured the press and Nicaraguan opposition in exile.

Álvarez was arrested in August 2022 and sentenced last February to 26 years in prison. Among those released is also Bishop Isidoro Mora and 13 other priests arrested in December, according to priest Uriel Vallejos, humanitarian activist Haydée Castillo and the press, all in exile.

Ortega and his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo aim to “leave Nicaragua without priests. Another plane full of shepherds from the village to exile,” Vallejos wrote on social network X (formerly Twitter) in exile in the United States.

Last October, 12 other priests were released and sent to Rome following a government agreement with the Vatican.

In Managua, neither the Ortega government nor the police nor the official media referred to this Sunday’s information.

Media such as the newspaper La Prensa, El Confidencial and 100%News, working from Costa Rica, assured that the plane has even arrived in Rome, which was confirmed to AFP by the Association Group of Political Releases (GREXCR), based in San José.

In December, Pope Francis said he was following “deeply concerned” the detention of priests in Nicaragua.

The relationship between the Church and the government deteriorated after Ortega accused priests of supporting the 2018 anti-government protests, which he considered a coup attempt promoted by Washington and which resulted, according to the UN, with more than 300 dead.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in El Salvador