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Nicaragua: Bishops determined to continue national dialogue

The day that has just ended has been intense for the Nicaraguan Bishops. Indeed, the Church of Nicaragua has been overwhelmed with messages of solidarity, addressed in particular to Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes; the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, Mgr. Silvio Jose Báez; and the Apostolic Nuncio Mgr. Waldermar Stanislaw. The three of them were attacked on Monday in Diriamba – an attack that was condemned by all major international bodies. In the last few hours, even the Bishops of Argentina and Guatemala have expressed their closeness. The Nicaraguan Bishops held a meeting yesterday afternoon and finally decided, as communicated via Twitter by Mgr. Báez, to continue their participation as mediators and witnesses in the national dialogue, as the Government had requested them to do. So there is still a glimmer of hope, although the situation remains tense and uncertain. In the morning, Card. Brenes, his auxiliary and the apostolic nuncio had met with the delegation of the European Union present in Nicaragua. European observers expressed their concern over the attack, praising the mediation work that the Church has carried out so far. While there are reports of attacks by paramilitary groups in various locations across the country (according to the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights, a real massacre was perpetrated in Carazo last weekend, with 24 victims, and a siege was reported at a church in Jinotepe yesterday), no one knows what will happen tomorrow and Friday. Indeed, many demonstrations have been called for tomorrow, while the Church has proposed a day of prayer for the country. And on Friday, there will be a general strike.

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