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“Don’t leave me alone,” cries a Nicaraguan priest besieged by police

Nicaraguan priest Uriel Vallejos asked this Tuesday not to be left alone in the parish Divine Mercy, where he is being held and which is kept occupied by police agents who forced their way in the day before in order to seize the equipment of a radio station closed by the authorities.

“We continue to be guarded, here we are; we only have to ask the Lord for strength. Thank you for your prayers. Do not leave me alone! The Virgin of Fatima is accompanying us,” cried the priest of the Divina Misericordia parish, in the municipality of Sébaco (north), in a tweet, which he accompanied with a photograph.

The photograph shows the priest in a room dressed in a white cassock, eating an ice cream, sitting on an armchair, and with a fan on.

According to the religious, he has been in his room since 5:00 p.m. on Monday (11:00 p.m. GMT) and in the early hours of today the police tried to take off the kitchen door to enter his bedroom.

He later reported that he was fine and that the security forces continued to struggle against the metal gate who is inside the kitchen to access his room, without success.

The priest has also published on his Twitter a series of psalms and prayers in which he asks to be kept from all evil.

“Today that we celebrate Our Lady of the Angels, we ask for her powerful intercession before God, for our country Nicaragua. May she take care of us with her maternal love! María de Nicaragua, Nicaragua de María,” wrote the parish priest, who thanked the “Costa Rican brothers for their unconditional support to so many brothers”.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL SUSPENDS CLASSES

“Due to the police siege in the facilities of the chapel, parish house and school, we inform the entire educational community that classes are suspended at our San Luis Gonzaga school, in Sébaco, until further notice,” Vallejos also reported.

The religious assured that “there are many riot police (riot police) inside the chapel” Niño Jesús de Praga that houses the parish, as well as outside and in the San Luis Gonzaga school, located in the same place.

The Nicaraguan Police entered the Divina Misericordia parish last night by force, in order to seize the equipment of one of eight Catholic stations closed by the authorities, denounced the diocese of Matagalpa (north), led by Bishop Rolando Álvarez, one of the strongest critics of President Daniel Ortega.

The Government of President Ortega, through the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor), ordered the closure of eight Catholic stations on Monday, amid friction between the Executive and the Catholic Church.

The stations affected are Radio Hermanos, Radio Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, Radio Nuestra Señora de Fátima, Radio Alliens, Radio Monte Carmelo, Radio San José, Radio Católica, and Radio Santa Lucía, administered by the Diocese of Matagalpa.

Bishop Alvarez challenged Telcor authorities to publicly demonstrate who is right regarding the legality or otherwise of Catholic radio stations.

The Government of Nicaragua, through Telcor, has also removed three Catholic channels from programming in the last three months.

CHURCH-SANDINISTAS: 43 YEARS OF FRICTION

Relations between the Sandinistas and the Nicaraguan Catholic Church have been marked by friction and mistrust in the last 43 years.

President Ortega has branded “terrorists” to the Nicaraguan bishops who acted as mediators of a national dialogue with which a peaceful solution to the crisis that the country has been experiencing since April 2018 was sought.

Nicaragua has been experiencing a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has been accentuated after the controversial elections last November in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with their main contenders in prison.

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