Nicaraguan Catholics are said to be increasingly resentful of Pope Francis for his silence as the repressive communist regime of dictator Daniel Ortega shuts down Catholic radio stations and dispatches mobs to harass protesters.
The US State Department on Wednesday denounced the Ortega regime for shutting down six radio stations belonging to the Roman Catholic Church.
Ortega Murillo’s brutal assault on the Catholic clergy, radio installations and community members in Sebaco is yet another blow to religious freedom in Nicaragua as well as to freedom of expression. How can men and women in uniform – many of whom are believers – carry out such orders? ” He said Under Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols, referring to Ortega, his deputy, and his wife, Rosario Murillo.
radio stations Receive Closing orders from the telecom agency Telcor in Nicaragua on Monday. Reverend Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of Matagalpa Province and a tireless critic of Ortega’s religious repression, denounced the move as an “injustice” without legal authority.
Monday’s orders brought the total number of silenced Catholic radio stations in Matagalpa to eight, as well as an award-winning youth-oriented feminist station called Radio Voss.
Many of these center closures involved blunt police action. Radio Voss He said Police officers arrived at the broadcasting station to turn off the transmitters. Ortega police too forced They make their way to the Nino Jesus de Braga church in the town of Sebaco to confiscate equipment from the radio station operating from there.
The Archdiocese of Matagalpa reported that the parish priest, Reverend Uriel Villejos, was inside the house where the radio station operated.
I’m trapped. The police broke the locks of the church to get into the place of equipment to take it. Vallegos reported on Facebook that the police were attacking believers inside the school.
according to catholic news agency (Cyprus News Agency) Police fired shots into the air and deployed tear gas to prevent church worshipers from helping Father Valejos.
Valegos He said Police cut off electricity to the house, injuring two of his parishioners, and detained several people who answered his plea for help.
Cyprus News Agency reported that Telcor alleged that radio stations in Matagalpa lack the necessary broadcasting licenses as an excuse to silence them. The diocese responded that all the necessary paperwork had been submitted to the organizers in person years ago by Reverend Alvarez, but Telcor never responded to the requests.
Telcor also cited vague “technical” deficiencies on the part of Catholic radio stations but declined to specify what they were.
“We will continue to report and denounce any situation, such as this, that continues to violate freedom of expression and religion in Nicaragua,” the diocese said in a statement.
The Association of Independent Journalists of Nicaragua (PCIN) denounced the closures as a “massacre of freedom of information” and a “brutal strategy by the authorities seeking a national blackout on critical voices”.
“Such a decision, which was implemented with the police and civilians working alongside them, has caused damage to infrastructure, injury to people in solidarity with the management of the closed media outlet in Sebaco, Matagalpa, and violent arrests of young people,” PCIN said.
PCIN demanded the full restoration of radio stations, respect for the civil rights of broadcasters, and protection from “police assaults and Sandinista fanatics”.
Infobae On Wednesday, I reported the growing resentment among Nicaraguans over the lack of response from the Vatican and Pope Francis to the Ortega war on Catholic radio. In this regard, they believed that the Pope should have spoken against Ortega’s dictatorship long ago.
Infobae reports that the Ortega regime was at war with Catholics after protests erupted against very doubtful election who kept him in power in November 2021. Ortega and Murillo decided that the Catholic Church was aiding in a “coup” against them by providing shelter to the protesters. The regime unleashed a rising wave of violence and vandalism against churches, forcing many priests into exile.
“I do not understand how Pope Francis can remain silent in the face of attacks on Nicaragua’s most beloved priest, and how it is possible that he does not see someone of the highest authority using God’s name daily in vain,” Nicaraguan writer Gioconda Pelli said in May.
Other prominent Catholic writers in Nicaragua were less critical of the Pope’s position, arguing that his influence with Ortega’s regime was minimal, and he could make the situation for Nicaraguans worse by opting for a public battle with the evil and paranoid Communist ruler.
Agustin Antonetti, director of an NGO called Latin America Watch, unacceptable Those excuses are on Thursday.
“Pope Francis’ silence about what is happening in Nicaragua is a scandal. The dictatorship of Daniel Ortega is taking churches by force, they have closed all their channels and radios, even one priest is in prison, and the rest are afraid of being kidnapped,” he said.