Nicaraguan Government Harasses Catholic Clergy

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre / Diálogo January 23, 2020 In Nicaragua, the Catholic Church is one of the most critical voices of President Daniel Ortega’s actions, denouncing reprisals, murders, and human rights violations in the country.The Church’s remarks are a “major annoyance” to Ortega, who sees its members as his enemies for denouncing the truth, said to Diálogo Marcos Carmona, president of Nicaragua’s Permanent Commission on Human Rights.“Throughout 2019, the Nicaraguan president intensified harassment and violence against Catholic churches that sided with people who took to the streets to express their disagreement with the Sandinista regime’s authoritarian actions,” Carmona said.A group of masked people loyal to Daniel Ortega meet outside a Catholic church in Diriamba, Nicaragua, to intimidate mass attendees, July 9, 2019. (Photo: Carlos Herrera / AFP)Nicaraguan bishops served as mediators in meetings between the state and civil society to find a peaceful resolution to the sociopolitical crisis the nation has been going through for two years. Talks were suspended in the spring of 2018, after security forces’ repression against the population escalated and public protests were criminalized.Ortega blamed the Catholic clergy of being “pro-coup” for supporting injured protesters during the 2018 protests, according to Nicaraguan state media El 19 Digital. The government onslaught against the religious institution includes priests, nuns, and parishioners. Edwin Román, a priest at the Saint Michael Church in Masaya, told the press that the wave of violence the Church experiences surpasses the attacks it faced in the 1980s, during the civil war.Ramón Alcides Peña, a pastor at the church in the municipality of Jícaro, was detained for 12 hours on December 7, charged with disrupting public order. The priest said on social media that he was celebrating mass as usual.In November, followers of the Sandinista regime entered the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua and attacked a priest and a nun. The same month, in Masaya, they attacked parishioners of the San Bautista parish, while police surrounded the Saint Michael the Archangel Church to prevent displays of solidarity with the priest Román and a group of mothers who went on a hunger strike for nine days to call for the release of their children, detained for demanding the end of the regime.Ortega himself threatened the opposition. “The people will feel within their rights, with the obligation, to seek arms to take power through revolutionary means,” he said in November before the Political Councils’ assembly of the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA, in Spanish).“I feel that it’s a real possibility. The more the doors for a peaceful road close, the wider they open for an armed one,” said Rafael Solís Cerda to French radio RFI. Solís was a guerrilla fighter with Ortega and a judge at Nicaragua’s Supreme Court for 19 years, until his resignation in February 2019.last_img read more

MALIN HEAD GETS A €400,000 FUNDING BOOST

first_imgMalin Head in all its glory. Pic by malinhead.netMore than €396,000 is be awarded to Donegal County Council for a second phase in the development of visitor facilities at Malin Head.The allocation has been welcomed by Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh TD.Minister McHugh, “I am delighted that Phase II of the Malin Head project has been given the go ahead for works to commence. This work will include: Road widening to accommodate passing bays and associated drainage improvements and surfacing; Extending existing car park facilities to incorporate twenty one additional car and bus parking spaces; and the development of a new toilet block. “Malin Head plays a key role along the Wild Atlantic Way as Ireland’s most Northerly Point, it is a priority location along the route and brings great benefits from tourism figures, which are on the increase. These works will enhance the experience by providing essential visitor facilities and present new opportunities for businesses and tours for individuals and groups at Malin Head.”“Progress however, has not been thanks to any one group – it is a direct result of the community effort and buy in from the collective. I have worked closely with my colleague Councillor Bernard McGuinness on this project and trying to drive it forward. There has also been a great deal of drive from Donegal County Council to get the project off the ground, collaborating with Failte Ireland and working hard to secure this funding.”Also welcoming today’s announcement, Fine Gael Councillor Bernard McGuinness said today is a very important day for Malin Head, but also for the Inishowen Peninsula.“We have seen the increase in tourist numbers coming to visit this area and the developments that have been confirmed today are essential if we are to develop Malin Head into its full potential. I want to acknowledge the work and commitment of the whole community, who have ensured that this project was kept on the agenda of Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.” Following on from this Fáilte Ireland will be working closely with Donegal County Council on a Malin Head Experience Development Plan that will incorporate the wider Inishowen area. The plan is necessary because while Malin Head is recognised as the main attraction that will entice visitors up to the most northerly point of the island, the site in itself will not be sufficient to retain them for long. The extended ‘dwell time’ that is much sought after will actually be achieved by the range of ‘Supporting Experiences’ that exist and can be developed within the wider Inishowen Peninsula. Donegal County Council will work closely with Fáilte Ireland on this Plan to help ensure the area reaches its tourism potential.The funding builds on Fáilte Ireland’s ongoing work to develop the Wild Atlantic Way and follows a recent announcement that photo markers and information points are being installed at all the discovery points along the route, including those in Donegal.MALIN HEAD GETS A €400,000 FUNDING BOOST was last modified: December 15th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalfundingMalin Headlast_img read more