The Organization of Catholic Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean (ODUCAL), a consortium comprising 116 higher education institutions, has voiced its unwavering support for the Jesuits of Nicaragua in the wake of the Central American University (UCA) expropriation by President Daniel Ortega’s regime and Vice President Rosario Murillo.
This contentious move unfolded earlier this month, sparking concerns and condemnation from ODUCAL.
Concerns Over UCA’s Plight
In a recent official statement, ODUCAL expressed profound apprehension about the besiegement, asset confiscation, and closure of the Central American University situated in Managua.
The organization wholeheartedly stood in solidarity with the UCA’s academic community, signaling its distress over the unjust measures suffered by this prominent Catholic institution.
Demand for Reversal of Unjust Measures
ODUCAL issued an unequivocal demand for the immediate reversal and correction of the harsh, sudden, and inequitable actions taken by the Nicaraguan court against Catholic university educational institutions.
The association’s call for rectification underscores its commitment to justice and the principles of academic freedom.
Condemnation of Aggression in the Nicaraguan University System
Additionally, ODUCAL decried the escalating aggression targeting the Nicaraguan university system and its constituents.
The organization fervently advocated for the pursuit of a rational solution rooted in truth, justice, dialogue, and the safeguarding of academic freedom, as a means to resolve this pressing issue.
Ortega Regime’s Recent Expropriation
Just a fortnight ago, the Ortega regime executed a contentious expropriation that encompassed the Central American University (UCA) and Villa Carmen, a residence housing six elderly Jesuits.
In a striking move, the legal standing of the Jesuit order was nullified, with all its assets and property transferred to the state.
This development left thousands of students grappling with uncertainty concerning their academic future and the fate of their academic records.
ODUCAL’s Tribute to UCA’s Legacy
ODUCAL’s statement acknowledged the rich history of the UCA as a Catholic institution under the Society of Jesus, boasting over six decades of dedication to education, research, and a resolute commitment to public advocacy.
The UCA’s enduring pursuit of peace and justice in Nicaragua, marked by unwavering courage, was celebrated and mourned in equal measure.
Renewed Commitment to Human Rights and Peace
In conclusion, ODUCAL reaffirmed its solidarity with the people of Nicaragua and articulated its steadfast defense of human rights and peace.
The organization emphasized the crucial need to safeguard these principles at a time when numerous regions confront severe constraints on freedom and encounter threats to democracy.
The solidarity expressed by ODUCAL for the Jesuits and the Central American University in Nicaragua carries significant weight, particularly in the context of recent political developments in the country.
It highlights the international concern regarding actions that potentially infringe on academic freedom and the autonomy of educational institutions.
ODUCAL’s call for a rational solution rooted in dialogue and justice underscores the importance of peaceful conflict resolution and respect for fundamental rights in the face of adversity.
The situation in Nicaragua continues to be closely monitored by international observers and organizations committed to upholding democratic values and human rights.
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