Since 2018, the Central American University (UCA) has been subjected to constant harassment by Nicaraguan government institutions.
HAVANA TIMES – Jesuits throughout the world have spoken out against the unjust measure of dispossession imposed by the Ortega-Murillo regime against the Central American University (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua. From the General Curia in Rome, on August 16, the university and regional networks of the Jesuits’ Central American Province denounced the confiscation of the university’s assets by accusing them of being a “center of terrorism” and for “betraying the trust of the Nicaraguan people.”
The unjustified persecution continued: the Ministry of the Interior canceled the legal status of the Association of the Society of Jesus in Nicaragua and ruled that the Attorney General’s Office transfer its real estate and other property to the State.
The Nicaraguan government made the decision without any legal procedure, that is, without the right to legitimate defense by the Jesuits and without an impartial trial that would try the case and stop these unjustified and arbitrary abuses of power, as has happened in most of the more than three thousand cases of cancellation of legal status of non-profit organizations carried out by the Ortega regime since 2018.
The Society of Jesus has joined all the demands of the Central American Province, asking that the judicial measures be reversed and demanding the cessation of the growing government aggression. A dialogue with truth, justice and academic freedom was called for.
Despite international appeals, uncertainty persists, since the Government of Nicaragua may continue to intensify the measures after the cancellation of legal status, and having expelled the Jesuits who work in the UCA from their residence.
For its part, the Central America and Caribbean Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the confiscation of the university’s assets and reminded the State of Nicaragua of its obligation to justify this serious measure in accordance with the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The UCA has been characterized by promoting a fairer society for the Nicaraguan people, in line with its motto: The truth will set us free. The university’s commitment has been with the people in favor of an inclusive quality education, inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is endorsed by the Jesuits Superior General in Rome: “The UCA has always been in harmony with the Society of Jesus and the Catholic Church. Socially committed to the quality of training and the defense of the rights and lives of the most disadvantaged. All the national and international recognitions received by the UCA in these 63 years testify to this,” said Father Arturo Sosa, S. J.
The UCA in 2018
Since 2018, the UCA has been subject to constant harassment by Nicaraguan government institutions, following its pronouncements in defense of citizens repressed by state forces. The issues for which UCA students protested were for the lack of government response to a fire that consumed part of the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve, and for the reforms to Social Security. In the latter, the UCA became one of the points of reference of the protests and was a refuge for persecuted people. It should be remembered that in these demonstrations more than 300 people were killed throughout the country.
The reprisals against the UCA included the forced exile of the rector and the vice rector in June and September 2022, respectively. Likewise, the UCA faced a large budget cut by the National University Council, which harmed more than two thousand scholarship students. The budget cuts began in 2019, a year after support for the demonstrations.
In the face of outrage, the Society of Jesus worldwide has joined the campaign on social networks, “In all things, love and serve. #TodosSomosUCA.”
*Editorial of the Society of Jesus, México, published in Animal Politico.