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Home Uncategorized Arrests Of Catholic Priests In Nicaragua Tick Up As Dragnet Intensifies

Arrests Of Catholic Priests In Nicaragua Tick Up As Dragnet Intensifies

Nicaraguan police on Friday arrested three more Catholic priests, bringing the number of clergymen detained this week to at least nine, according to sources close to the local church leadership, including one who is a high-ranking church member.

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Nicaragua

Nicaraguan police on Friday arrested three more Catholic priests, bringing the number of clergymen detained this week to at least nine, according to sources close to the local church leadership, including one who is a high-ranking church member.

The three sources, who requested anonymity for fear of arrest, said two of the priests were taken into custody for publicly praying for jailed Bishop Rolando Alvarez, the most prominent critic of President Daniel Ortega.

The pair “were arrested for refusing to stop mentioning Bishop Alvarez in their sermons,” one of the sources said, naming Marco Diaz and Bayardo Aguilar as among the latest clerical detainees. The source said Aguilar was later released.

The government has not issued any statements explaining any alleged crimes committed by the priests or reasons for their arrests. But dating back to protests five years ago, Ortega has accused church leaders of seeking to overthrow his government.

Local media outlet Confidencial has previously reported that at least two other priests arrested this week were also released shortly after being detained.

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Later on Friday, another prominent priest, Silvio Fonseca, was arrested after leading religious services at his parish in the capital Managua, according to two of the sources.

“We don’t want to further complicate things, we’re in reflection,” said one of the sources, a high-ranking church member, who confirmed all of the recent arrests.

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