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The closing of the UCA, one more step against Nicaragua itself

This attack on the UCA of Nicaragua and on the right to education, this failure of truth, justice and freedom, is one more expression of an absolute decline of democracy in the country, as well as a loss of its diversity and richness at all levels. For years, the Nicaraguan government has been determined to undermine Nicaragua itself.

Last August 15, the accusation against the Central American University of Nicaragua (UCA-Nicaragua) materialized in an official notice issued by the Tenth District Criminal Court, Circumscription Managua as a "center of terrorism". It was the final acceleration of a process of years of state harassment against the Jesuit university that culminated, in the following hours and days, with the end of all academic processes, the confiscation of the UCA's assets, the immediate creation of a new university under the government’s regime and even the expulsion of a Jesuit Community close to the university but who did not belong to the university but to the Society of Jesus directly.

From the Jesuit Network with Migrants, as part of the apostolic body of the Jesuit Conference of Latin America (CPAL), we adhere to all the official positions of the Jesuit Province of Central America, CPAL and Father General Arturo Sosa SJ. We appreciate all the expressions of internal solidarity (including effective responses for the continuation of educational processes, investigations, and welcome) and external solidarity, and we share the feelings of pain, impotence and indignation in the face of arbitrary and unpunished actions that not only affect the university and the educational community that gives life to it (teachers, administrators, administrative staff, students, parents, etc.), but ultimately affect fundamental rights such as education and dear peoples such as those of Nicaragua.

This attack on the UCA, on the right to education in Nicaragua, this breakdown of truth, of justice, of freedom, is one more expression of an absolute decline of democracy in the country, as well as of its diversity and its richness. For years the Government of Nicaragua, in a fictitious defense of the country, has been fundamentally affecting Nicaragua itself, and this affirmation is expressed in multiple ways:

  • In the dismantling of its social, productive, economic, cultural and political fabrics;

  • In the expulsion of Nicaraguans from their own country, the generation of a growing flow of migrants - especially since April 2018 with the increase in persecution and repression - which has generated a flow of people in need of international protection that is manifested throughout the region and in other more distant countries;

  • In the breakdown of international trust. Not only in political actors or multilateral structures, but also in actors from civil society, academia, human rights defenders, etc. Therefore, our solidarity, our memory, our commitment is not only with our own community of the UCA, with the Society of Jesus in the country and in the province, or with the Church so harshly persecuted; our solidarity, our memory, our commitment is with an entire country that sees its future threatened by blows that undo its present in all sectors and territories. Our more specific commitment is with the Nicaraguans who have had to decide to leave and those who have been expelled, with the non-

Nicaraguans who also find it impossible to continue expressing their love and their social action in favor of rights in the country and who have had to leave Nicaragua or have been expelled or prevented from returning.

In our case, when we sing and assume the motto #TodosSomosUCA, #WeAreAllUCA, we do so not only in solidarity, but also as a reflection of our network. UCA Nicaragua has been part of the RJM (Jesuit Network with Migrants) since its inception, has done research on the reality of forced migration, processes of accompaniment and reception of migrants and people in need of international protection, has responded in multiple ways to the migration of both Nicaraguan nationals, as well as from the Central American region, like the other increasingly complex and challenging international steams of migrants.

We do not have the right to lose hope, we wish and demand the cessation of this aggression and of all aggressions that keep Nicaragua from a democratic and free path. In the meantime, we wish to thank the UCA-Nicaragua and its various teams over the years for their firm commitment to the rights of the most vulnerable migrants, regardless of their origin, race or religion. This commitment that goes far beyond its own borders has always been an inspiration for the entire apostolic body of the Society of Jesus that makes up the Jesuit Network with Migrants in the Central American Province, in the CANA (Central America/North America) Region and at the continental level.

For all that it has been, for all that it is and for all that it will continue to be, thank you very much compañeras, thank you very much compañeros, we continue to be a network.

The Americas, August 21, 2023 Jesuit Network with Migrants

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