Jesuits Condemn Besiegement of Churches & the C.A. University in Nicaragua

Several students struggle with riot police agents forming a security cordon in front of the entrance of the Central American University (UCA), during a protest demanding the release of political prisoners. EFE / Confidencial

They call on the international community to act strongly and request the activation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter (OAS)

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The Conference of Provincial Jesuits of Latin America and the Caribbean—(CPAL), the Central American Province of the Society of Jesus, and the Association of Universities entrusted to the Society of Jesus in Latin America—, unite our voices to that of the bishops of Nicaragua and many other social actors.

We urgently call on the international community to firmly express its rejection of the way the Government of Nicaragua, through its security forces, has been disrespecting civil rights enshrined in the national constitution:

-repressing peaceful demonstrations,  

-provoking opposition people and groups to justify their own violence,

-preventing the rights to religious freedom and assembly,

-capturing and disappearing opposition activists,

-accusing their opponents of crimes not committed,

-preventing humanitarian work and acts of peaceful civil disobedience,

-falsely and slanderously accusing authorities of the Catholic Church, among others.

We state our special solidarity with Fr. Edwin Roman and with all the mothers who fast in Masaya to ask that their imprisoned children be released, as well as with the 13 activists recently arrested for bringing them water to alleviate their hunger strike. We condemn the capture of the Managua Cathedral and the attacks against Fr. Rodolfo Lopez and Sister Arelys Guzman, as well as the siege against various parishes.

We condemn the provocation of government riot squads to the students of the Central American University—UCA, which, once again, yesterday, November 19, 2019, suffered a siege of its campus in Managua. We reject and condemn the attempt by these government-controlled groups to violate the University campus.

We ask Mr. Daniel Ortega to immediately order the cessation of harassment, aggression and violation of human and civil rights of the members of the opposition, and we urge all those responsible for these sieges to stop excercising their position. “It is too much pain that Nicaraguans have suffered. Families that are besieged carry double suffering: the lack of freedom of their imprisoned relatives and, now, the state of siege that threatens their lives” (Statement of the Episcopal Conference).

To the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY in religious and humanitarian organizations, international organizations, democratic government of the world and, particularly in Europe and the Americas, we ask you to exercise your best offices to guarantee Nicaragua’s return to the democratic system through:

–The public demand for immediate respect of civil rights enshrined in the Nicaraguan national constitution: freedom of worship, freedom of mobilization, freedom to peaceful protest, freedom of political organization, freedom of the press and information, freedom to research and teaching;

–The public International condemnation of the methods of repression that have resulted in more than 300 people killed, more than 2,000 Nicaraguans injured and more than 700 political prisoners, of which more than 150 remain in prison;

–The activation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter (OAS) to prevent further bleeding among the Nicaraguan people tired of such oppression, misery and manipulation by the regime, as well as to prevent the intervention of foreign powers that want to benefit in this time of very serious political crisis.

We send a special greeting and our solidarity to all the victims of violence in Nicaragua. We assure you our fraternal support and our willingness to continue fighting for a more just and democratic society.

We implore God’s blessing on all, so that we know how to be agents of reconciliation in justice and truth.

Sign:
ROLANDO ALVARADO, S.J., Provincial of Central America
ERNESTO CAVASSA, S.J., President of AUSJAL.
ROBERTO JARAMILLO, S.J., President of the CPAL.

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