Letter from Jesuit Provincials and Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean

Mothers of political prisoners have been holding a hunger strike in a parish in Masaya, and the parish has been besieged by riot police who have closed off access to the church, arrested 13 activists who brought them water. The police are also besieging 6 parishes in Managua, Masaya and Matagalpa, as well as the Jesuit University in Managua (UCA). This letter was issued on Nov 20, 2019.

San Salvador, November 20, 2019

The Conference of Jesuit Provincials 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 – AUSJAL

Uniting our voices to that of the Bishops of Nicaragua and many other social actors, we make an urgent call to the international community that they show their firm rejection of the way in which the government of Nicaragua, through its security forces, have been disrespectful of the civil rights established in the national constitution:

  • Repressing demonstrations of peaceful protest
  • Provoking opposition individuals and groups to justify their own violence
  • Inhibiting the right to religious freedom and freedom of association
  • Arresting and disappearing opposition activists
  • Accusing their opponents of crimes which they did not commit
  • Preventing humanitarian works and acts of peaceful civil disobedience
  • Falsely and slanderously accusing authorities of the Catholic Church, among others.

We state our special solidarity for Fr. Edwin Román and all the mothers of families who are fasting in Masaya to ask that their jailed children be freed, as well as for the 13 activists detained recently for taking them water to ease their hunger strike. We condemn the taking of the Cathedral of Managua and the aggressions against Fr. Rodolfo López and Sr. Arelys Guzmán, as well as the siege of several Parishes.

We condemn the provocation of the students of the Central American University (UCA) on the part of anti-riot groups of the government, who once again, yesterday November 19, 2019, suffered their harassment in the installations of the Central American University in Managua. We reject and condemn the attempt of these groups, controlled by the government, to violate the campus of the University.

We ask Mr. Daniel Ortega that he immediately order the end to the harassment, aggression and violation of the human and civil rights of the members of the opposition, and we exhort all those responsible for these harassments to set aside this posture. “The pain that the Nicaraguans have suffered is too much. The families who find themselves harassed bear dual sufferings; the lack of freedom of their jailed family members and now, the state of siege that is an attack against their lives” (press release of the Episcopal Conference).

To the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY in humanitarian organizations, religious and humanitarian organizations, international organizations, democratic governments of the world, and particularly in Europe and America, we ask you to exercise your best efforts to ensure the return of Nicaragua to the democratic system through:

  • The public call for immediate respect for the civil rights enshrined in the Nicaraguan national constitution: freedom of worship, freedom of movement, freedom for peaceful protest, freedom of political organization, freedom of the press and information, freedom of research and learning;
  • The international public condemnation of the methods of repression that have resulted in more than 300 people murdered, more than 2,000 Nicaraguans wounded and more than 700 political prisoners, of whom more than 150 continue in jail;
  • The activation of the Interamerican Democratic Charter (OAS) to prevent a greater bloodletting of the Nicaraguan people, tired of so much oppression, extreme poverty and manipulation on the part of the regime, as well as to prevent the intervention of foreign powers who might want to benefit at this moment from very severe political crisis.

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

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

 

[Signature]                                                                  [Signature]

Rolando Alvarado, S.J.                                                Ernesto Cavassa, S.J.

Provincial for Central America                                   President of AUSJAL

 

[Signature]

Roberto Jaramillo, S.J.

President of CPAL

 

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