Council of Costa Rican Rectors Speak Out on Nicaragua

they ask not to remain silent in the face of “ignominy”

The Council of Rectors of Costa Rica denounced that the Nicaraguan university community has been the victim of repression. Photo: Jorge Torres / EFE.

CONARE denounces the violation of autonomy and human rights before the Central American Superior Council of Universities.

By Octavio Enríquez (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The National Council of Rectors (CONARE) of Costa Rica condemned the repression in Nicaragua and asked the members of the Central American Superior Council of Universities (CSUCA) not to remain silent or be indifferent in the face of the arbitrary acts of the dictatorial Ortega-Murillo regime, which it calls “ignominious acts” in an official statement.

To the contrary, the organization urges its members to assume the defense of university autonomy, human rights and Latin American democracy. The rectors assured in a letter addressed on January 26 to Carlos Guillermo Alvarado Cerezo, Secretary General of CSUCA, that they have followed with great concern the disrespect and violation of autonomy in Nicaraguan universities, as well as the violence exercised against the student movement.

They recall the human rights violations committed since April 2018, which have been documented by the national and international community. According to CONARE, studies by human rights organizations and multiple publications show that the Nicaraguan regime is responsible for the death of university students, the exile of thousands of citizens and political prisoners, among which they mention the seven presidential hopefuls arbitrarily detained in the months leading to the November 2021 elections, in which Ortega reelected himself for a fourth consecutive term.

“Among those arbitrarily detained are presidential candidates, political and social activists, student leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and business representatives. The consequence of all these events is a regime that has lost all democratic legitimacy, as has been expressed by most of the international community,” the letter states.

The reelection of the Sandinista ruler, and his wife and Vice President, Rosario Murillo, was considered illegitimate by at least 40 countries of the international community and deserved a condemnation by 25 countries of the Organization of American States (OAS), in which they demanded the release of the 170 political prisoners throughout the country.

“As a form of protest and solidarity with the people of Nicaragua in general and with its university community in particular, the Costa Rican universities members of CONARE, agreed to abstain to participate in any university activity that CSUCS convenes in our suffering sister country,” the statement reads.

The statement was signed by the president of CONARE, Rodrigo Arias Camacho, Rector of the Universidad Estatal a Distancia, and by four of his colleagues: Gustavo Adolfo Gutierrez, Rector of the Universidad de Costa Rica; Paulino Mendez Badilla, Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica; Francisco Jose Gonzalez, Universidad Nacional; and Emmanuel Gonzalez Alvarado, Universidad Tecnica Nacional.

The rectors recalled that they have assumed the values and aspirations of the Cordoba Reform in 1918, promoted by the Argentinean university youth, which consolidated the exercise of freedom of thought, professorship, and self-government, which would be known as university autonomy. They also mentioned the loss of lives caused by the repression against students in Nicaragua on January 23, 1959; in the context of the student movements in Mexico and France in 1968, other countries of Latin America and the United States.

Read more from Nicaragua in Havana Times