In statements to ACI Prensa, Nicaraguan lawyer Martha Patricia Molina Montenegro, a member of the Pro-Transparency and Anti-Corruption Observatory, said that the Ortega dictatorship “is capable of anything” and “will always generate as much damage as possible.”
The jurist underscored the arbitrariness of the National Police’s incursion into the episcopal house of Matagalpa, pointing out that it violates the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure, which establish limitations on house arrest and home invasion. Ordinarily, it can only be done “between six in the morning and six in the evening,” according to Montenegro.
She also stressed that the bishop, priests, seminarians, and lay people who were surrounded by the police since Aug. 4 “spent 15 days kidnapped, not detained.”
“The police are acting like a criminal group that does not submit to the rule of law and once again it makes clear that Nicaragua is a dictatorship where they proceed according to the whim and state of mind of President Daniel Ortega and his consort,” she said. Ortega’s wife, Rosario Murillo, has held the position of Vice President of Nicaragua, since January 2017.
The lawyer explained to ACI Prensa that “the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship proceeds arbitrarily because it knows that if it uses legal channels it would not have any legal basis, because all the crimes that are attributed to innocent citizens are false.”
“Ortega fears no one”
Montenegro, the author of a report that indicates more than 190 attacks have occurred against the Catholic Church since 2018 under the shadow of the Ortega dictatorship, pointed out that “Ortega fears no one.”
“This has been demonstrated by escalating the intensity of the repression,” she said.
The jurist recalled that the Ortega dictatorship “has ordered the assassination of more than 350 Nicaraguans,” referring to those killed to repress the peaceful protests of 2018, and noted that the regime has “sent into exile more than 200,000” in addition to taking “190 political prisoners.”
In the last week, the regime closed all media outlets, prompting international backlash. Montenegro voiced her skepticism about the backlash, however, noting that though the international community condemns Ortega, “they continue to finance him by granting him millionaire loans, which are used to repress and not to invest in social works.”
“The victory will be given by the Lord”
Still, Montenegro has reason to hope while events unfold.
“I can assure you that this arbitrariness and attacks on the Church have united us more as Christians,” she said, noting that “yesterday we were more than 3,500 families praying the Holy Rosary in the company of Bishop Rolando, through social media and thousands more who connected from other places.”
“We are strengthened with that peace and tranquility that only the Holy Spirit provides,” she continued.
“There is no human power that can put an end to this nefarious and criminal dictatorship. Victory will be given by the Lord.”
The last post on the bishop’s Twitter account, shortly before he was kidnapped by the National Police, recalled the Gospel: “Let us worry about wearing festive garments in the Kingdom of God.”