Daniel Ortega Freezes Nicaragua Catholic Church Bank Accounts

Daniel Ortega Freezes Nicaragua Catholic Church Bank Accounts

Daniel Ortega’s government has frozen the bank accounts of at least three of the nine Catholic Church dioceses in Nicaragua, local church sources denounced on Saturday.

According to these sources, the dioceses with limited bank accounts are the dioceses of Managua, led by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, and the dioceses of Matagalpa and Estelí, led by imprisoned Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who was sentenced to more than 26 years in prison in February for the crime , which are considered “treason to the fatherland”.

For his part, Cardinal Brenes informed the Expediente Público portal that he could not confirm the freezing of the diocesan bank accounts and was currently considering “how to resolve the situation”.

The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua, Bishop Carlos Herrera, told the Despacho 505 platform that he had received information about the problems with the diocesan bank accounts, but had not been officially notified.

Denied transfers

Nicaraguan exile researcher Martha Patricia Molina released screenshots of unsuccessful attempts to make bank transfers to accounts in the Archdiocese of Managua. “Check that the account you entered is correct and try again”, “Your transfer could not be made” and “Invalid account” are some of the messages that appear on the screen when you try to make a transfer to the Accounts to be taken by the Archdiocese of Managua, according to Molina.

So far, neither the government nor private banks have commented on the restrictions on these diocesan bank accounts or the arrest of three priests this week. Two days ago, the National Police announced that they are investigating Father Jaime Montesinos for committing acts contrary to the independence, sovereignty and selfdetermination of the nation. The religious is pastor of the Church of John Paul II in the municipality of Sébaco in the department of Matagalpa, a diocese presided over by Bishop Álvarez.

Silence the Church

According to Nicaraguan opposition leader Félix Maradiaga, “the freezing of the bank accounts of several dioceses of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua is an extreme act of aggression and persecution.”

It is also an explicit declaration of the dictatorship’s true aspirations: to silence and completely dissolve the voice and even the presence of an institution which, because of its moral weight in Nicaragua, represents an obstacle to OrtegaMurillo’s plans for dynasty consolidation .” Dictatorship,” Maradiaga warned in a public statement. “It is time for the international community to enter the phase of complete ignorance of the regime,” he added.

Relations between the Ortega government and the Catholic Church are currently experiencing moments of great tension, marked by the expulsion and imprisonment of priests, the ban on religious activities and the cessation of their diplomatic relations. In an interview with the Infobae portal, Pope Francis even classified the Sandinista government as a “rough dictatorship”.

Nicaragua has been in a political and social crisis since April 2018, aggravated after the controversial general elections in November 2021, in which Ortega was reelected for a fifth term, the fourth in a row and the second together with his wife Rosario Murillo deputy. President, with his main rivals in prison or in exile.