AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Bishops of Nicaragua denounce "the harsh repression against peaceful citizens"

Monday, 1 April 2019 human rights   democracy   politics   violence  


Managua (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Nicaragua have condemned the harsh repression carried out last Saturday against peaceful demonstrators, who had gathered in the center of Managua. The protesters were literally attacked by police members when they tried to exercise their constitutional right to protest in a town square.
"It is shameful that once again in Nicaragua, the police and violent civilians, physically assault, hold and injure civilians who demonstrate peacefully. It is not a lack of respect for the agreements: they are human beings; they are not the negotiations to be hindered, but the future of the country", said Mgr. Silvio Báez in a message spread after the violent events.
The Bishop of Matagalpa, Mgr. Rolando Álvarez, said he "is accompanying the population that is suffering because of government repression". It should be noted that in front of the cathedral of Matagalpa, a group of young people from the Civic Coalition held a sit-in in the afternoon, under strict police supervision.
The Bishop of Granada, Bishop Jorge Solorzano also condemned the violent acts and stressed that these events are another example of the "lack of respect for human life" that exists in Nicaragua. The Bishop urged Christians to intensify prayer so as to "be strong" in the fight against evil. "We still live moments of violence and lack of respect for human life in our Nicaragua. We pray that in this time of Lent the Lord will grant us the strength to fight evil" wrote Mgr. Solorzano.
In an official statement sent to Agenzia Fides by the Archdiocese of Managua, Cardinal Brenes, President of the Bishops’ Conference, deplored the violent facts and observed: "It is sad to see brothers from the same country confronting each other violently".
On March 30, the police intervened violently in Metrocentro on demonstrators who were protesting against the government. Only a day earlier, the Nicaraguan government, chaired by Daniel Ortega, and the Civic Opposition Alliance, had signed agreements to, among other things, allow peaceful protests. The police justified its action, blaming "violent groups" that had invaded "private property" and "altering public order". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 01/4/2019)