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The Nicaraguan government has released two Catholic bishops and 17 other clergy members following discussions with Vatican authorities.

The clergy, including Bishop Rolando Álvarez, were incarcerated over a year ago amidst President Daniel Ortega’s stringent measures against the Catholic Church. Ortega had accused them of supporting the 2018 civic protests, which he alleged were attempts to overthrow his government.

Pope Voices His Concern For Imprisoned Nicaraguan Bishop

Álvarez, a vocal critic of Ortega’s administration, particularly regarding the shutdown of Catholic radio stations and the government’s human rights practices, was arrested in 2022. He faced a 26-year prison sentence on charges of undermining the government, disseminating false information, and disobeying authority. Furthermore, Álvarez was stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship for refusing exile to the US last year.

Among those released was Bishop Isidoro Mora, detained last month for publicly expressing support for Álvarez during mass. Additionally, 15 priests and two seminarians were part of the group released.

This comes as the US has been critical of the Nicaraguan officials’ actions, imposing visa restrictions on 100 municipal officials in Nicaragua last August to hold the Ortega regime “accountable.”


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