Cathedral protests highlight Ortega’s broken alliance with Nicaraguan church

As readers of our blog are aware, Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez of the Archdiocese of Managua is a Discalced Carmelite friar and former faculty member at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum.

Reporting Roots and Leaves

First published in the Guardian

As mass concluded in Managua’s Metropolitan Cathedral, chants of “Liberty!” and “Justice!” broke out among the congregation. Outside, protesters unfurled a giant Nicaraguan flag – a prohibited symbol of the country’s recent uprising – from the building’s roof. In the church grounds below, others planted wooden crosses, each inscribed with the name of someone killed in the past six months of rebellion and repression.

flag cathedral (2)

Protest is outlawed in Nicaragua, as President Daniel Ortega seeks to stamp out any trace of the civil revolt that threatened to bring down his government earlier this year.

Street demonstrations are brutally quashedMore than 550 protesters languish in jail. Human rights groups have documented widespread use of torture.

Facing such repression, protesters have retreated to the one place where police and paramilitary forces won’t pursue them.

“The church has become the last space where citizens can freely express…

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