"Usurper of peace," this is how Ortega describes a priest expelled from Nicaragua 3:55
(CNN Spanish) -- The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on Saturday accused the Nicaraguan Catholic Church of being part of a money laundering network that allegedly involved people previously convicted of "Treason" and several dioceses in the country, without specific details being given, according to a press release published by the National Police.
"The result of the investigations confirmed the illegal theft of resources from bank accounts that had been ordered by law to freeze, as well as other illicit activities that are still being investigated as part of a money laundering network that has been discovered in dioceses of different departments," the statement said.
According to the Police, the Superintendency of Banks has asked the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua and the Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, to present documents that "show the movements of the bank accounts of the Dioceses, so that the Laws of the Country are complied with at all times."
- They condemn a new arrest of a priest in Nicaragua by the regime of Daniel Ortega
CNN is trying to get more information about the case with the government's Communication and Citizenship Council, as well as a reaction from the Archdiocese of Managua and Brenes, who had not spoken publicly about the case.
This Sunday, during a homily from the Cathedral of Managua, and without referring directly to the government's accusations, Brenes called on his parishioners, especially young people, to "not be afraid," since "fear is promoted by the devil."
In its statement, the Nicaraguan National Police said that the investigations are derived from cases previously tried for Treason, this in reference to the controversial Law for the Defense of the Rights of the People to Independence, Sovereignty and Self-Determination for Peace, which since its implementation has been used to imprison detractors of the Ortega government. journalists and even opposition presidential candidates.
The investigations announced for money laundering represent the latest episode in a series of actions undertaken by the Ortega regime against the Catholic Church, which so far this year alone has registered the closure of a university in the Archdiocese of Managua, arrests of priests, expulsion of nuns from the country and the cutting of diplomatic relations with the Vatican.