Against violence in Nicaragua.
In solidarity with our Jesuit companions from Central America and marching for justice and peace with the Church in Managua.
On the 22nd April 2018, the Guardian and other major news reporters reported the death toll provided by the Cenidh – Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos which is fighting for human rights in Nicaragua: 25 dead, 67 injured and 43 missing.
The reason for the Nicaraguan protest in Managua is the reform of the social security system which was desired (but then withdrawn) by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
At the end of the Regina Coeli in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said he was “worried about what is happening in Nicaragua in these days, where, following a social protest, clashes occurred, which also caused some victims”. The Pope then manifested his “closeness in prayer to that beloved country”, uniting “to the Bishops in asking that all violence be stopped, avoiding unnecessary bloodshed and open questions be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility”.
Faced with the violence of the events of Managua, the Conference of Jesuit Provinces of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL) published a declaration on April 21, deeply deploring “the acts of violence against the Nicaraguan people who peacefully manifested their opposition to the reform of social security and condemns the violent response to such protest by state agencies or individuals and groups organized by the government as undemocratic “.
Likewise, the Jesuits of the Province of Central America of the Society of Jesus issued a statement, directed to the Nicaraguan people, in which they repudiate “the physical aggression that has been unjustly and disproportionately exercised against the students and other citizens that Wednesday 18 April protested peacefully from the main entrance of the UCA ” (Universidad Centroamericana).
Below you’ll find the full text of the two press releases, translated into English. You can consult the original text in Spanish of both documents here.
Then on April 28th, the Nicaraguan Catholic Church promoted a pilgrimage of prayer “for peace and justice”. Thousands of people have responded positively to the call by marching through the streets of Managua. As reported by the Vaticannews website in the Aquilino’s article, “the bishops of Nicaragua, in recent days, have agreed to be mediators and witnesses of the dialogue between President Ortega and the various sectors that animate the protest in the square, as students, entrepreneurs, and peasants “. Furthermore, the participants of the demonstration firmly asked for the formation of an independent commission of inquiry into the violence suffered by the demonstrators in the tragic day of April 18th.