The priest Osman José Amador Guillén, 36, was abducted on Friday night, September 8, by police officers of the Orega-Murillo regime who, without giving any explanation, carried him off from the Cathedral Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Estelí and took him to an unknown destination.
Sources from the Diocese of Estelí reported that the abduction occurred at about 10 p.m., when a group of anti-riot police burst into the church where a meeting was being held among members of the clergy.
Another religious source told lawyer Martha Patricia Molina, who has been researching the persecution of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, that the abduction of Father Amador is potentially a reprisal by the regime, because in his recent homilies he had been praying for the release from prison of Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí.
Link to the Cáritas case
Father Amador –who is originally from the municipality of San Fernando in the Nueva Segovia province– was the last director of Cáritas Diocese of Esteli, which was shut down by the regime in March 2023. For this reason, researcher Molina fears that the priest Osman Amador may be linked to the case of the priests Pastor Eugenio Rodríguez Benavides and Leonardo Guevara Gutiérrez, who are being held under a type of house arrest in a church educational center in Managua.
The Diocese source recalled that when the abduction of the priests Rodríguez and Guevara took place last April, some people reported that Father Amador was missing, but in fact he had sought refuge for security reasons.
Molina also pointed out that it has been more than 90 days since the Police took Rodríguez and Guevara and initiated an investigation against the Church for alleged money laundering. The regime, however, has not issued any statement about the case.
"They haven't said anything because they have no evidence, they have nothing," Molina asserted. The abduction of Father Amador demonstrates that "they are desperately looking for someone to blame," she added.
The assault against the Church
The abduction of priest Osman Amador is the latest in a series of attacks against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua. The regime is also holding prisoner: Bishop Rolando Álvarez; Father Manuel Salvador García, from the Jesus of Nazareth parish in the municipality of Nandaime, Granada; Father Leonardo Urbina, from the Perpetual Aid parish in the Boaco province; and Father Jaime Iván Montesinos Sauceda, from the John Paul II parish in the municipality of Sébaco, Matagalpa.
The regime has also banished and forced into exile dozens of priests and nuns who had been working in Nicaragua for many years. The latest case of forced exile is the rector and director of the Calasanz School in Managua, Nicaraguan priest Mauricio Valdivia Prado, who was prohibited by the regime's authorities from entering the country when he returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic.
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff.