Spring Hill College, along with other Jesuit institutions in the U.S. and around the world, stands with the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) de Nicaragua which, like all Jesuit institutions, has the mission to both provide students with professional formation and to encourage their commitment to a just, humane and environmentally sustainable world. We further condemn the threatening of the lives of leaders pushing for peaceful negotiation, such as UCA Rector, Fr. “Chepe” Idiaquez, SJ.
On May 30, 2018, Nicaraguan police and pro-government forces opened fire on citizens as they neared the end of a peaceful demonstration at the Jesuit university in the capital city of Managua. According to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, 11 people died and 79 were injured. During the attack, the university allowed thousands of protestors to take refuge on their campus from the chaos in the streets. This violence came after an attack on UCA of Nicaragua campus guards on May 27. “Although they did not manage to hurt or kill our watchmen, this was their intent, based on the charge of gunpowder used and the nearness of the shot,” Idiaquez said in a statement.
The UCA of Nicaragua has an obligation to protect its students, to speak for justice and – so far as it can – to shelter citizens who are under attack. We are immensely proud of the UCA for doing all these things in keeping with the teaching of Ignatian spirituality. Referring to these actions, Pope Francis said, “I am united with the bishops in asking that every form of violence end, that a pointless shedding of blood be avoided and that open issues be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility.”
For more information about statements of solidarity with the UCA and Fr. Idiaquez, please visit www.ajcunet.edu/nicaragua.
Christopher P. Puto, PhD