(CNN Spanish) — Two nuns from the Dominican de la Annunciata Congregation who were expelled from Nicaragua were welcomed at the Costa Rican border today, Wednesday, the Diocese of Tilaran-Liberia said in a statement. They are Costa Rican sisters Isabel and Cecilia Blanco Cubillo who entered through Peñas Blancas in the northwest of the country.
In Nicaragua, the nuns were in charge of the Fundación López Carazo nursing home in Rivas, explained the bishop, Monsignor Manuel Eugenio Salazar Mora. “Let us continue to pray for the Church in Nicaragua, and especially for Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, who spent two months in prison,” Salazar said in the statement.
In February, the Nicaraguan justice system sentenced Álvarez to more than 26 years in prison for crimes such as undermining the state and Nicaraguan society and for spreading false news. Lacking a defense, the bishop could not deny the allegations.
On the other hand, the Trappist nuns who left Nicaragua at the end of February said on social media this Tuesday that they handed over their monastery to the state-owned Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA). Sondales sector in the center of the country. “On March 1, the Voluntary Closure Deed was submitted to the Ministry of Interior (MICOB), and on March 3, government officials appeared to verbally inform our bishop that they could no longer visit the monastery and that it would work there. INTA,” they said in a statement.
The nuns said they were welcomed in Panama with “great affection and generosity.” Nuns from the OCSO Catholic Order announced in February that they had voluntarily left the country because of “discipline, lack of vocations, and the aging of many sisters.”
President Ortega has called the bishops of the Nicaraguan Synod of Bishops “terrorists”, saying they supported anti-government protests in 2018, which the government called a “coup”.
CNN is seeking a response from the government in both cases through the Communications and Sovereignty Council.