The Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Managua, Archbishop Carlos Avilés, denounced the intimidation against the faithful by the state: “Members of the police take note of the plate of the cars of the faithful only for the fact that they go to mass in a parish, is ridiculous. But the Church had this experience of persecution already in the 80s. We, despite this, do not stop in our work and in our mission, to evangelize and be next to the people. Since April 2018, when the people peacefully protested against the ‘Seguro Social’ reform and were brutally stopped by the dictatorship, the Catholic Church once again stood on the side of the weakest.”
Mgr. Aviles’ statements are contained in a video shared with Fides News Agency and disseminated on social media, in which he informs that there has been an official complaint by the Church on these facts, also published in the media. The video contains an interview with the newspaper La Prensa del Nicaragua, where the Vicar General of the diocese describes the situation of the Church: “Thanks be to God, the Church reflects how much society lives, how much people live. We have no power, neither military, nor political, to face and fight against a free repression only to be on the side of the people, or only to denounce the people’s requests for justice”.
Mgr. Avilés concludes by asking police members to stop the persecution of the Church and its faithful: “We cannot live in an environment of repression. We must live in a Christian spirit, in peace and harmony.”
The situation in Nicaragua is always of constant tension. The government’s attempts to present a peaceful and serene country to the international press when social and peasant leaders are persecuted, threatened or even killed are useless. Entrepreneurs no longer support the government’s economic policy, with immediate negative consequences for the international market; the national press is prevented from reporting on daily events; opposition parties find themselves without political instruments before the next elections.
However, the testimonies of young people in many cities of the country, through social media, confirm that a Free and United Nicaragua is not only possible but will be the result of every little contribution, according to the words of Mgr. Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of Matagalpa: “The people are teaching a lesson of unity”.