Last weekend the Ortega regime in Nicaragua arrested two more Catholic priests, making a total of six priests arrested in just eight days since the beginning of the month.
The first priest arrested was Father Yesner Cipriano Pineda Meneses, 37, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Nueva Segovia Department (administrative district) in the Diocese of Estelí. The newspaper El Confidencial reported that he was arrested Oct. 7 by Sandinista police.
In addition to Pineda, Father Ramón Esteban Angulo Reyes, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in the town of El Rama in the Diocese of Bluefields, was arrested the next day.
According to the Nicaraguan media 100% Noticias, police officers showed up at the parish on Oct. 8 on false pretenses to supposedly take Angulo to a meeting. However, the priest never returned and his whereabouts are unknown.
Nicaraguan researcher and lawyer Martha Patricia Molina said the parishes that have been left without priests currently do not have Mass, but only the Liturgy of the Word and “are praying for the prompt return of their priests.”
Molina also charged that the dictatorship of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, is monitoring priests “daily” and “taking photographs of them.” She also claims she has information that more priests will be captured.
Days before, the priests Álvaro Toledo, Julio Norori, Iván Centeno, and Cristóbal Gadea were arrested. The Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa reported that so far 13 members of the clergy have been arrested in Nicaragua, including the bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez, who was sentenced in February to 26 years and four months in prison for being “a traitor to the homeland.”
Álvarez is also the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, where several priests have been arrested.