Nicaragua and Monsignor Álvarez: chronicle of an announced sentence

All independent analysts in Nicaragua – inside and outside the country – have defined the trial against the bishop of Matagalpa, Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, a pantomime

After Monsignor Álvarez’s refusal of a proposal for exile in exchange for his freedom, the epilogue of the trial carried out by the Sandinista regime led by Daniel Ortega will be inexorably one of condemnation.

The trial was characterized by irregularities, being conducted on the basis of clandestine hearings in which the Nicaraguan prelate was not even allowed to count on the presence of a defense lawyer, and the sentence has already been dictated: guilty.

But guilty of what? Gloria María Saavedra Corrales, head of the Tenth Criminal District Court of Managua, repeated it following the script prepared by Ortega: “Conspiracy to harm national integrity and promote the dissemination of false news to the detriment of the state and society”.

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Of course there is no evidence. Since he was forced to remain locked up in his home (in August last year) the accusation is the same, but there has never been anything to corroborate it. It is the way of acting of a dictatorship that has thrown itself against the Catholic Church and any form of opposition that exists in the Central American country.

About the trial (the parody of trial) against Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, the daily The Press published an editorial: “This is an absurd accusation against a consecrated member of the Catholic Church, dedicated to preaching peace, love and reconciliation of Nicaraguans and all the people of the world.”

The sentence: “We already know what will happen”

For his part, the exiled director of the Defensoría Nicaragüense de Derechos HumanosPablo Cuevas, told the news agency Infobae that “never in the history of Nicaragua, nor in that of Central America, as far as I know, had a bishop been judged in the exercise of his functions”.

Cuevas believes that the trial against the bishop of Matagalpa “will go down in history not only for the character sitting in the dock, but for the series of irregularities that the Nicaraguan regime has implemented to convict him of crimes he cannot prove”.

Afterwards, Cuevas pointed out a Infobae that “Monsignor Álvarez’s fate has now been decided (…). A sentence already exists, the details are just being defined. By now we know what will happen. Sentences are processed in El Carmen (Ortega’s residence)”.

The irregularities of the process, according to Cuevas, are various: isolation, religious restriction, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, illegal search, removal of the natural judge, illegal detention, impotence and clandestine trial.

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These are irregularities that in any average civilized country would have been sufficient to free Monsignor Álvarez, but this is not what happens in Ortega’s Nicaragua. Far from doing so, Judge Saavedra Corrales sent him to trial, and the regime has now condemned him.

“What we all know will happen: the abuse of authority will prevail and be condemned,” concluded Cuevas. Chronicle of an announced sentence, which could be the beginning of the end of the Nicaraguan dictatorship.

Nicaragua and Monsignor Álvarez: chronicle of an announced sentence