Nicaraguan Government Revokes Legal Status of Society of Jesus Amid Escalating Harassment

The government of President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua has taken a significant step by revoking the legal personhood of the Society of Jesus and transferring its assets to the state.

This action, occurring within a climate of increasing hostility towards the religious order, has sparked concern and condemnation.

Revocation of Legal Personhood

Minister of the Interior María Amelia Coronel Kinloch issued ministerial agreement 105-2023-OSFL, officially canceling the legal personhood of the Nicaraguan Company of Jesus Association due to alleged breaches of the law.

The document, published in the official newspaper La Gaceta on August 23, also dictates that the attorney general’s office will oversee the transfer of assets and real estate to the State of Nicaragua.

Harassment and Allegations

The regime claims that the Society of Jesus, registered since 1995, failed to submit financial statements for the fiscal periods of 2020, 2021, and 2022.

However, this action follows a series of property confiscations against the order.

The Central American University (UCA) was expropriated on August 15, and the residence of the Jesuits in Villa Carmen was seized on August 19.

The Nicaraguan University Alliance (AUN) condemns these actions as part of a systematic persecution of the Catholic Church and faith by the Sandinista dictatorship.

Impact on Education and Charitable Works

The AUN expresses concern about the effect of these actions on the quality education and charitable works provided by the Jesuits.

The confiscation of the UCA and the threats against various charitable efforts jeopardize the lives of vulnerable individuals within the country.

Appeals and Demands

The Central American Province of the Society of Jesus called upon President Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo to halt the repression in the country.

The order condemned the recent aggression, demanding an end to the abuse and the pursuit of truth, justice, dialogue, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

The Jesuits emphasized the need for respect for their freedom and integrity, highlighting that the decision was made without following proper administrative procedures and without allowing legitimate defense.

Totalitarian Concerns

The Jesuits view the asset and property confiscation as a move toward establishing a totalitarian regime.

They hold Ortega and Murillo responsible for not ensuring an impartial judiciary to prevent these unjust measures.

Continued Call for Justice

The Central American Province stands in solidarity with the victims of the Nicaraguan government’s actions and expresses gratitude for the support and solidarity they have received in response to these distressing developments.

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