Jesuit universities and institutions around the world continue to express their solidarity with the Nicaraguan people and have mobilized to support the University of Central America (UCA) in Nicaragua, which has suffered severe repression over the past few months and due to violence has been unable to resume daily academic life.

Statements of support have been made by Jesuit universities, networks, and centers, calling for respect for the dignity of our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters and urging dialogue and democracy as ways forward toward justice and peace. Most recently, UNIJES, the network of Spanish universities, released a statement condemning the violations of human rights of Nicaraguan citizens, and expressing solidarity with the UCA community, defending the autonomy of higher education institutions as “spaces for critical thought and freedom of expression.”

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) has also compiled statements, articles, reports and helpful accounts to follow on Twitter in order to share about the current situation.

The solidarity and potential of the Jesuit network is far-reaching (and inspiring). Due to the ongoing conflict and the risk of violence on UCA’s university campus, the Virtual Academic Cycle was created for students who wish to continue their studies. More than 100 professors from the 30 universities that form part of AUSJAL (the Jesuit university network in Latin America) responded to the call to participate, and 39 were able to align their agendas to accompany students registered in the online program.

These higher education networks call on us to make this cause our own and to act in solidarity, sharing these statements and requests for support with our colleagues across Jesuit institutions.

Photo: Elena Cayeiro/Entreculturas