UNIVERSITY NEWS | On June 6, 2018, President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., shared the below letter of solidarity:
Loyola Marymount University joins the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States in urging the Nicaraguan government to respect and uphold the human rights of its citizens, starting with freedom of expression and peaceful protest.
In particular, we denounce the horrific attack that our Jesuit sister institution, the University of Central America (UCA) of Nicaragua, endured on May 30. This attack occurred at the end of a peaceful demonstration in support of the mothers whose children had been killed during six weeks of protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s administration. Thousands of people took refuge on the UCA campus in the face of assaults by government-affiliated forces, which resulted in young people being killed and wounded or unjustifiably taken to prison.
With Pope Francis, the Society of Jesus, my AJCU colleagues, and citizens across the globe who value the sacredness of life, we condemn the suppression of nonviolent demonstrations and the threatening of lives of leaders such as UCA Rector José Alberto Idiáquez, S.J., for encouraging peaceful negotiations. We stand in solidarity with the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference, which has also rebuked the threats and attacks against several of its members, especially Monsignor Silvio Báez, and priests and nuns who have been aiding the victims of repression.
The UCA of Nicaragua, like all Jesuit institutions, seeks to instill in students a sense of meaning and purpose beyond themselves—for students to utilize their talents and gifts to improve society and the lives of those less fortunate. The UCA has an obligation to protect its students, to speak for justice, and to shelter citizens who are under vicious attack. The courage the UCA has exhibited is a reminder to each of us what it means to be true to our mission.
Dialogue is necessary to negotiate peaceful solutions for the good of all people of Nicaragua.
Considering the government’s recent concession on its Social Security proposals, we urge each of the parties to seize this opportunity to discuss priorities to build a more hopeful and just future for Nicaraguan society. In this spirit, we call upon international organizations, particularly the Organization of American States and governments of the world, to demand the immediate restoration of democratic institutions and respect for the country’s human rights.
Together, let us pray for a peaceful solution that will allow freedom and justice to flourish in Nicaragua.
Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.