People demonstrate near a cobblestone barricade in Managua, Nicaragua, April 21. (CNS photo/Jorge Torres, EPA)
Jesuits Denounce Violence in Nicaragua, Defend the Right to Peaceful Protest

April 23, 2018 — In response to ongoing protests in Nicaragua and the senseless killing of a Jesuit high school student there, the Jesuits of Central America, the Conference of Provincials of Latin America and the Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. released statements calling for an end to violence in the country after several days of protests to proposed social security legislation.

Citizens began protesting April 18 after the government announced changes to the nation's social security system. The proposed overhaul, which would have increased pension contributions while reducing benefits by 5 percent, was canceled by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on April 22 in response to the protests.

The protests led to the deaths of more than two dozen people. Álvaro Manuel Conrado Davila, a 15-year-old student at Instituto Loyola, the Jesuit High School in Managua, Nicaragua, was among the victims killed while peacefully protesting on April 20.  


Mourners at Álvaro Manuel Conrado Davila's funeral. (photo: Ingrid Orozco)

According to reports, Conrado was shot by police with a rubber bullet that struck him at close range in the throat, and he died later while undergoing surgery at a local hospital. The Instituto Loyola community gathered for Conrado’s funeral on April 21, which was attended by an approximately 400 people.

The Conference of Provincials of Latin America said in its statement, “We profoundly lament the acts of violence against the people who gathered in a peaceful manner to oppose the social security reform. We condemn as anti-democratic all the violent repression on the part of state agencies and individuals and groups organized by the government.”

The Jesuits of Central America called for a national dialogue that will "peacefully lead in a direction of integral development and social and environmental justice."   


Álvaro Manuel Conrado Davila's funeral on April 21. (photo: Ingrid Orozco)

The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. released a statement saying they “stand in solidarity with our brother Jesuits, their lay collaborators and all the people they serve in Nicaragua.

“We pray for peace in the country and hope that all sides will engage in truthful dialogue. We pray for calm between all of the parties and we remind government leaders of their responsibility to protect those who have lawfully gathered to seek redress from their government.”

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) also issued a statement, which expressed solidarity with "our Jesuit sister institution, the University of Central America (UCA) of Nicaragua, which calls its students to peaceful advocacy for social justice, even as government violence at the University’s gates suppresses dissent.

"The UCA of Nicaragua, 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." AJCU urged the government to respect the constitutional rights of its citizens, including freedom of expression and peaceful protest.

Pope Francis also called for end to violence in the country. “I express my closeness in prayer to that country and 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,” he said on April 22.

Read the statements by the Jesuits of Central America; the Conference of Provincials of Latin America; and the Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. [Sources: Catholic News Service, Ignatian Solidarity Network





Recent News

November 15, 2018 — A high-level intellectual, a historian by training and ex-President of Campion College, Father John Meehan, SJ arrived a few months ago in Montreal, where he joined the Jesuit community at the Residence of the Holy Name of Jesus.

November 9, 2018 — On November 14th and 19th, the magazine Relations will hold two evenings of reflection on ways out of the extractionist model, the first in Québec City (Frédéric-Back Culture and Environment Centre), and the second in Montréal (Maison Bellarmin).

November 9, 2018 — Speaking on behalf of all adult Catholics, Pope Francis formally closed the Synod of Bishops on Oct. 28 by asking young people for forgiveness.

November 9, 2018 — On November 20 there will be a major fundraising event on behalf of the Maison Dauphine Foundation. Some 40 artists will participate in the multi-discipline, uptempo event that will take place at the Palais Montcalm, with artist Guylaine Tremblay as host, and Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec, as honorary president.

November 9, 2018 — The provincials main task is to visit every Jesuit in the country at least once a year along with most of our apostolates or works. I spent the past week in Winnipeg where I visited the Jesuit community and most of the Jesuit inspired works here.

November 7, 2018 — As Norbert Piché was in El Salvador for meetings of the Jesuit Central and North American network on migration, he reflects on the latest news regarding the group of people headed toward the United States.

November 7, 2018 — Historians and curators from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, USA and Canada met in Midland, Ontario on October 18 to 21, 2018 for an invitational symposium titled "Life & Death in the Missions of New France and East Asia: Narratives of Faith & Martyrdom".

view all news

Search news

Publications

Au coeur du monde

CJI Mission News

Relations - sept 2018



Loyola House / Ignatius Jesuit Centre
Built in 1964, Loyola House in Guelph, ON has welcomed over 60,000 people of all faiths to deepen ...