The last time he was seen was 72 days ago, on January 10, the day Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo prosecuted the Bishop of Matagalpa, Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, for the alleged crimes of "conspiracy to undermine the integrity of national” and “propagation of false news”.
The religious leader, one of the most critical of the Sandinista regime, looked pale, thinner than usual, but serene in the tenth court of the Managua Criminal Court District.
The rest of the impeachment trial, for which he was sentenced to 26 years in prison on February 10, took place out of public view.
The guilty verdict was read to the bishop one day after the Ortega y Murillo regime jailed and stripped 222 political prisoners of their nationality.
Álvarez refused to get on the plane of exile and, political analysts agree, thus ruined the attempt of the presidential couple to "wash face" by giving in to the demand of the international community to release political prisoners, and to engage in political negotiations with the United States.
That same day, Ortega thundered against the prelate and said that he had "a superb behavior."
"He is deranged, but hey, that will have to be determined by the judicial authorities and the medical authorities who will also have to attend to him, because now that he arrived at La Modelo, he arrived that he was a madman," said the appointed president, along with his wife for UN experts,
In this way, Ortega revealed that he decided to change the bishop's house arrest that he had been imposed since his police kidnapping in August 2022, and transferred him to the prison system.
However, it was a movement that no one verified, not even the family of the religious who, until the publication of this article, has not been able to see or visit him.
Lawyer Yader Morazán explained that the fact that not even his closest friends have been able to see him – despite the location that Ortega revealed on a national television channel – constitutes a “forced disappearance”.
"Article 488 of the Criminal Code, in the chapter on crimes against humanity, establishes that 'the authority, official, public employee or agent of authority who detains and does not give reasons for his whereabouts, will be punished with a penalty of four to eight years in prison and absolute disqualification from public office or employment for six to ten years,'” recalled the former official of the justice system, who also had his nationality stripped.
Morazán also highlights article 7 of the Rome Statutes that establishes, in its subparagraph "i", that forced disappearance of persons shall be understood as "the detention or kidnapping of persons by a State or political organization, or with its authorization, support or acquiescence, followed by the refusal to admit such deprivation of liberty or to provide information about the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of leaving him outside the protection of the law for a prolonged period.”
They ask for proof of life of the bishop
The Blue and White National Unity (UNAB), an opposition organization born in 2018, demanded from the regime a "proof of life" of the bishop, who was "unjustly kidnapped for raising his voice in the face of so much evil and to date his whereabouts are unknown. ”.
The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cendih) has insisted on the release of Álvarez, the first bishop arrested and convicted by the Ortega-Murillo regime in the midst of a religious persecution against the Catholic Church.
"The life of Monsignor Rolando Álvarez is in danger, his physical and psychological condition is unknown," the agency warned.
From exile in Miami, the auxiliary bishop of Managua, Monsignor Silvio Báez prayed “so that we do not forget this imprisoned bishop.
"He is a just man, an innocent shepherd with whom they have been merciless, because they have not endured his word," he said on March 19.
Báez's words are in tune with the disagreement raised by Pope Francis in an interview with the
medium : “There we have (in Nicaragua) a bishop in prison, a very serious man, very capable.
He wanted to give his testimony and did not accept exile, ”he maintained.
After these statements, the Sandinista regime "suspended" diplomatic relations with the Vatican, completely fracturing the relationship between the two countries.
Four days ago, the charge d'affaires of the Holy See in Managua, Marcel Diouf, left Nicaragua and closed the nunciature.
They will raise the case to “international instances”
This March 18, the Mexican lawyer Carlos Ramírez, from the Christian Lawyers Foundation, told the newspaper
that they will submit the case of Monsignor Álvarez to "international instances" because it is plagued "by a series of irregularities in the internal process, in a clear flagrant violation of their constitutional guarantees and human rights.”
"Not just for the flagrant violation of constitutional rights and guarantees, but to safeguard the integrity and life of Monsignor Álvarez," said Ramírez.
“We are going to request the intervention of the Organization of American States (OAS), of the UN, through precautionary measures that can be requested at the time to safeguard human rights, those who are politically persecuted or prisoners whose rights have been violated. violated.
We will also assert it before the Inter-American Court, this once all local instances in judicial matters have been exhausted”, explained the jurist.
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