AP

Nicaragua’s congress bans 4 universities and 6 aid groups

Feb 2, 2022, 1:34 AM | Updated: 3:37 pm

FILE - Protesters yell from behind the road block they erected as they face off with security force...

FILE - Protesters yell from behind the road block they erected as they face off with security forces near the University Politecnica de Nicaragua, UPOLI, in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 21, 2018. Nicaragua's National Assembly, controlled by President Daniel Ortega, outlawed four private universities on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. Among the schools whose legal standing the assembly canceled was the UPOLI, which was a hotbed of antigovernment protests in 2018. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File)

(AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File)

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua’s National Assembly, controlled by President Daniel Ortega, outlawed four private universities Wednesday, some linked to the Roman Catholic Church.

The best known of the schools whose legal standing was canceled by the assembly is Polytechnical University of Nicaragua, which was a hotbed of antigovernment protests in 2018.

The measure also affects six aid groups linked to the church and four professional or collegiate associations. One of the professional organizations is the Association of Nicaraguan Songwriters, which was formed by folk musician Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy.

Some of the groups have been critical of Ortega, or in the case of the universities, host to academics or students who are critics of the outlawed entities did not comply with financial reporting requirements. That was the same argument used to ban almost a dozen non-governmental groups last year.

Monsignor Carlos Avilés, vicar of the Archdiocese of Managua, said that banning aid groups “is unfair, it doesn’t contribute to the country’s wellbeing.”

“These institutions are focused on social projects and aid,” Avilés said. “This is an unjust form of repression.”

Some observers had thought a political crackdown by Ortega in 2021 was mainly aimed at arresting opponents to clear the way for his almost unopposed re-election in November. But the events this week suggest his regime is looking to restructure Nicaraguan society.

“The aim is to impose a single model of thought, a vertically organized society to perpetuate Ortega in power,” said Gonzalo Carrión, a lawyer for the human rights group Nicaragua Never Again.

The government announced Monday that it intends to start trials of the 46 political figures arrested in the run-up to the Nov. 7 election. Many of the prisoners, including seven people who had been considered potential candidates to challenge Ortega in the election, which was widely criticized as a farce.

Relatives have said 39 prisoners have been detained for months after the roundup have been subjected to isolation, constant interrogations and insufficient food. Seven others are under a form of house arrest.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: An Alaska Airlines passenger jet approaches to land at the Los Angeles International Airport...

Associated Press

Man accused of stabbing another passenger on a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas charged

A man who witnesses say stabbed another passenger on an airline flight in January told authorities he intended to kill the victim.

2 days ago

Image: Dr. Candice Matthews, left, listens as Texas state Rep. Ron Reynolds, right, with Darryl Geo...

Associated Press

Judge: Texas school legally punished Black student over hairstyle

A Black high school student's punishment by his Texas district for refusing to change his hairstyle doesn't violate state law, a judge said.

2 days ago

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exc...

Associated Press

Boeing ousts head of 737 jetliner program weeks after panel blowout on flight

Boeing said the head of its 737 program is leaving the company in an executive shake-up weeks after a door panel blew out on a flight over Oregon.

3 days ago

Image: The Alabama State Capitol is seen on May 15, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama....

Associated Press

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are ‘children’ under state law

Critics say the Alabama embryo ruling may have sweeping implications for fertility treatments.

4 days ago

Image: People take cover during a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bow...

Associated Press

Two men charged with murder at Kansas City Chiefs parade

Minutes after Kansas City Chiefs players spoke at a victory celebration Wednesday, multiple people near the parade route were carried away on stretchers.

4 days ago

Image: A sign is on display above an ATM at a Capital One Café in Miami on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. ...

Associated Press

Capital One to buy Discover for $35B in deal combining major US credit card companies

The deal would bring together two of the nation's credit card companies as well as potentially shake up the payments industry.

4 days ago

Nicaragua’s congress bans 4 universities and 6 aid groups