The Most Rev. Rolando José Alvarez Lagos, Archbishop of Matagalpa, gave ten principles to the country’s politicians during a homily delivered on Feb 16.
From Vatican News
(*Original version in French, in-house translation)
The Church continues to call for calm in Nicaragua where acts of violence follow one another, such as the assassinations of opponents of the regime. Latest to date: that of a leader of the opposition party “Ciudadanos por la Libertad,” who died on Thursday in the northeast of the country.
In the cathedral of his diocese, on February 16, the Archbishop of Matagalpa proposed a decalogue particularly suited to the circumstances, in a clear and direct style: “First, do not discredit others; second: do not criticize them destructively; third: do not judge them wrongly; fourth: respect their dignity; fifth: respect their privacy, integrity and family life; sixth: respect their opinion; seventh: recognize that we all need each other; eighth: always look for points of consensus; ninth: consider Nicaragua as the greatest and the main common good; tenth: overcome evil with good,” said Archbishop Rolando José Alvarez Lagos. An ethical and moral course of action intended above all for those who are involved in the political life of the country.
The Intervention of the Nuncio in Favour of Political Prisoners
Nicaragua continues to be marked by violence and acts of intimidation. In 2018, the repression of anti-government demonstrations left at least 328 dead and 88,000 exiles, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
More recently, neither the announcement of general elections in 2021 nor the release of eight political prisoners from the regime of President Ortega has brought down the tension in the population. The families of political prisoners keep asking for the unconditional release of these Nicaraguans detained in the country’s prisons. They would be 61, according to the organization Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy.
Regarding these releases, which took place on February 13, Brenda Gutiérrez, president of the Committee for the Liberation of Political Prisoners, welcomed the intervention of the Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignor Waldemar Sommertag, to the local press. According to her, he was the only person able to be heard by the Heads of Nicaragua, namely President Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo. “This is a terrible situation. Freedom does not exist. It seems that we are sequestered in our own country,” also deplored Brenda Gutiérrez. “We cannot forget those who suffer unjustly in prison,” she added.
Daniel Ortega could run for a fourth term
When they are not imprisoned, some opponents are directly eliminated, as expressed by the opposition party “Ciudadanos por la Libertad” (CxL), which denounced this Thursday the kidnapping and the shooting of one of its leaders, José Lopez, in the northeast of the country.
“Three armed men came to kidnap the leader of Ciudadanos por la Libertad José Lopez, 51, and murdered him,” the party said in a statement. The events took place on the evening of February 17 in Mulukuku, 250 kilometres northeast of Managua, it said.
The CxL party is part of Nicaraguan groups planning to meet in the grand opposition coalition, which will be launched next Tuesday, February 25, for the general elections of 2021. The Sandinista party in power does not exclude to present the current president Daniel Ortega for a fourth consecutive mandate, in spite of the serious violations of human rights which are reproached to him by his opponents. President of the Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction during the first period of the Sandinista Revolution, from 1979 to 1985, Daniel Ortega was President of the Nicaraguan Republic from 1985 to 1990, and he has been again since January 10, 2007.