Álvarez is the first bishop to be arrested and indicted since President Daniel Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007.
Bishop Rolando Álvarez, of the Nicaraguan diocese of Matagalpa, was indicted on charges of conspiracyduring an initial hearing, in which he was ordered to remain under house arrest. The judge in charge of the initial hearing, which took place last Tuesday Jan 10, had already sentenced the priests and laymen who were accompanying Bishop Álvarez when he was detained, to 90 days in prison.
The Nicaraguan bishop Rolando Álvarez is accused of “crimes of conspiracy to undermine national integrity and propagation of false news through information and communication technologies to the detriment of the Nicaraguan state and society.”
According to the note published by Vatican News, the judge Gloria María Saavedra Corraleshas also confirmed the arrest warrant against Fr. Uriel Antonio Vallejos, pastor of the Jesús de la Divina Misericordia parish in the city of Sébaco, who is currently in exile in Italy, on the same charges.
Rolando Álvarez: The first bishop to be arrested and indicted since 2007
Bishop Rolando Álvarez was taken into custody by police on August 19, along with six other priests and six laymen, after being forcibly imprisoned for two weeks in the Curia for allegedly having attempted to “organize violent groups” with “the aim of destabilizing the Nicaraguan State and attacking the constitutional authorities,” as read in the police report.
The Bishop was subsequently transferred to his private residence in Managua under house arrest, while the other people arrested were taken to a detention center known as El Chipote. The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) has repeatedly denounced the facility as a psychological torture center.