The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Dictatorship in Nicaragua sentences priest critical of the regime to 10 years in prison

CNA Staff By CNA Staff

Father Oscar Benavidez. / Credit: Parish of the Holy Spirit of Mulukukú, Nicaragua

CNA Newsroom, Feb 6, 2023 / 12:30 pm (CNA).

The dictatorship in Nicaragua, led by President Daniel Ortega, sentenced Father Óscar Danilo Benavidez Dávila to 10 years in prison for the alleged crimes of “conspiracy” and “spreading fake news” to the detriment of the regime.

The news site Despacho 505 obtained access to the closed-doors verdict and reported Feb. 4 that the Tenth Criminal Trial District Court of Managua, presided by Judge Nancy Aguirre, had sentenced the priest on Jan. 24.

According to the ruling, after a trial riddled with irregularities, the priest was given five years in prison for the crime of “spreading fake news” and another five for “undermining national security and sovereignty.”

In addition, the Catholic priest was fined 49,917 córdobas, about $1,350.

Benavidez, 50, known for being a critic of the dictatorship, has been in custody since Aug. 14, 2022, when he was arrested after celebrating a Mass in the Conception of Mary chapel in the Diocese of Siuna.

He was found guilty Jan. 16 and the state prosecution requested a sentence of eight years in prison. However, the court sentenced him to 10 years.

Despacho 505 noted that Benavidez is the first priest sentenced for “conspiracy and cybercrimes, crimes invented by the regime of Daniel Ortega and [his wife, Vice President] Rosario Murillo to imprison opponents.”

According to the priest’s defense, during the trial the alleged “crime” he committed was expressing his opinion in a social media post.

The Nicaraguan news outlet Mosaico reported Jan. 16 that the only trial hearing lasted fewer than eight hours.

In total there are nine Nicaraguan clergy that the dictatorship has accused of the crime of “conspiracy,” including Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who was  arrested along with other priests around 3 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2022.

A recent report from the Mechanism for the Recognition of Political Prisoners, endorsed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), indicated that the number of political prisoners in Nicaragua has risen to 245 as of January 2023.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 6969 Articles
Catholic News Agency (


  1. When Lula was in prison the Pope sent him a letter. Will he now do the same? Or maybe the Pope could visit him in prison. Or maybe set him free. Are not Christians supposed
    to do that?

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. TVESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  2. More Faithful Apostolates Discuss Our Scandalous Papacy As The Population Control Trans-human Movement Continues Full Speed Into Satanism | Traditional Catholics Emerge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.