Central American Jesuits' statement on closure of Asociación Roncalli and IHCA

The following is press release from the Jesuit's Central American Province and was shared to us by our partners at the Asociación Roncalli. We have translated it into English, you may find the original version .


We want to communicate to the Nicaraguan people and to the friends of Nicaragua beyond our borders the following:

  1. On May 9, in the Official Gazette, Issue 83, the cancellation of the legal status of the Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli Association (formerly known as the Juan XXIII Institute) and the Central American Historical Institute (IHCA) was published. Both institutions belong to the mission of the Society of Jesus in Nicaragua.
  2. The IHCA was founded in 1981 as a center for analysis, communication, and social action, positioning itself as the preferential option for the poorest in its service to the Nicaraguan people. For more than four decades, IHCA was dedicated to researching, analyzing and publicizing the national and Central American reality through the magazine "Envio"; accompanying training and organization programs with people disabled by war; training boys, girls, teenagers, and youth in leadership development; and accompanying migrants and their families in the advocacy for and defense of their rights. This benefited hundreds of people across different departments of the country.
  3. The “Asociación Ángelo Giuseppe Roncalli” was born in 1961 under the name JUAN XXIII INSTITUTE OF RESEARCH AND SOCIAL ACTION, being the first institute of the nascent Central American University (UCA). In the 1980s, when the research aspect was passed to the UCA's faculties, the name was changed to "Institute of Social Action Juan XXIII". Later, in August 2015, in response to the development of the work and the mission, it changed its name to "Asociación Ángelo Giuseppe Roncalli", a legal entity that had been established in 1994 by Fr. Antonio Fernández Ibáñez, SJ, then director of the Institute. The site was known as the Roncalli-Juan XXIII Association. Its mission was to contribute to the effective exercise of the human right of Nicaraguans to have access to decent housing and health, through sustainable management in the construction of low-income housing and the subsidized sale of medicines; thus fostering the self-management capacity of people "in their communities". At the time of closure, it was present throughout the national territory through its different programs: housing (50 municipalities, 3,857 homes built, 15,430 beneficiaries); health (66 municipalities, 122 community farmicies, 42 mobile teams, 350,000 beneficiaries per year); and integral ecology projects (110 communities, 17,740 producers benefited).
  4. We want to assure that both the IHCA and the Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli Association, in exercising their mission to serve the Nicaraguan people, always observed and complied with the laws in force in the country and the Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua. The ethics, professionalism, and moral solvency of both institutions and the staff that collaborated with them is more than proven by the beneficiaries of their respective missions.
  5. The Society of Jesus regrets the closure of the IHCA and the Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli Association, which since their foundation have been dedicated to ensuring that the most vulnerable populations in Nicaragua can come to "have life and life in abundance" (Jn 10, 10 ).
  6. Given this reality, the Society of Jesus wishes to state that it will continue with its mission of accompanying the Nicaraguan people.

San Salvador, El Salvador, May 11, 2022.