latin american academy of sciences (ACAL), made up of 250 academics from 17 countries in Latin America, condemned the coercion of higher education and science in Nicaragua, through what they called the imposition of restrictions that “attack the autonomy of higher education institutions and academic freedom in different universities.”
The academics also lamented the closure of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences (ACA) by the National Assembly, which is dominated by the Sandinista Front seat, which oppresses NGOs and recently rescinded the university’s autonomy to perpetuate the regime’s control of the system. Higher education, through legislative reforms.
ACAL is a regional organization designed to promote and contribute to the development of science and its applications for the benefit of human, cultural and social development. Its members described the events in Nicaragua regarding the independence of the university as “extraordinary”.
“It is inconceivable that a civilized country should take measures that affect the freedom that these institutions must have in order to properly carry out their activities and is so interested in the international academic community, which considers higher education to be an exercise that must be carried out in an atmosphere of complete freedom., so that free confrontation is prohibited For ideas to train professionals and citizens who are able to make their own decisions, for reasons beyond academic competences,” reads the organization’s statement, signed by its President Claudio Befano and his Foreign Minister Rafael Abez Castro, both from Venezuela.
The global announcement comes a month after regime-linked lawmakers Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo Agreed to reform the General Education Act and the Higher Education Institutions Autonomy (IES) Act, which excluded the University of Central America (UCA) from the National Council of Universities (CNU) and from the 6% constitutional distribution granted to state higher education institutions.
This act was seen as retaliation for the Jesuit University, whose authorities opened the doors to students repressed by the state in the 2018 protests, when police and paramilitaries sympathetic to Ortega orchestrated the massacre. at least 355 people were killed in the course of the opposition protests that began in April of that yearAccording to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
The education sector reform proposed by the FSLN grants national unity “absolute power” over the country’s universities, which translates, in the opinion of educational specialist Ernesto Medina, to “consolidation of political control” of the system.
With the reform, what they seek is legal support for control, because control was already exercised through officials loyal to the regime; They have made a legal cover for all this arbitrariness, so that the universities are controlled by an institution. That is the role CNU will now play,” the expert told the program last April. Tonight.
The closing of the ACA and 49 other NGOs
On May 4, MPs 50 civil society organizations have been abolished, claiming non-compliance with the legal framework in the country. In the case of the Foreign Agents Law, which was created in 2020, it is a legal framework made by the regime itself to prosecute those it considers independent, but sources familiar with specific cases of state repression made clear months ago that the government refused to receive it. Their financial reports fill in handicaps and requirements necessary for them to remain legal.
Among the NGOs, the Local Academy of Sciences (ACA) was included, an entity dedicated to the promotion of this particular region in the country. The Center believes that “bypassing” the institutions that generate and support scientific activity shows the government’s “misunderstanding” of the importance of such work.
“Science in all its aspects represents the indisputable core of the generation of all kinds of powerfully backed knowledge, and is designed to build scientific capacity as a sure and indispensable foundation for any technological development and that of a country that despises the generation of knowledge and the institutions which they note appease and compromise the social and economic well-being of its citizens.”
During the 12 years of its existence, the ACA has been dedicated “to the nurturing and dissemination of science, research and scientific education, as essential elements of sustainable human development,” says ACAL. They were also references for analyzing the effects that the canal project promoted by the regime might cause, questioning, fundamentally, the ecological damage along the route traced.
“The Association deeply regrets the decisions taken by the Government of Nicaragua and the institutions that support it regarding the abolition of the university’s autonomy and the abolition of the legal personality of the Academy of Sciences of Nicaragua, actions that are clearly detrimental to the social and intellectual development of the Nicaraguan community.
Meanwhile, he called on the government to “reconsider these decisions and promote constructive dialogue” with universities and scientific NGOs.
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