Democracy and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua
Please join the CSIS Americas Program and the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development, in partnership with the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs and Pulte Institute for Global Development, for an event on democratic backsliding in Nicaragua and the role of the Catholic Church and faith-based society. The event will feature keynote remarks and a panel discussion.
As the Ortega regime has consolidated its dictatorship, the Catholic Church stands as the most trusted institution in the country and outspoken advocate for human rights. Ortega has perceived this as a threat, cracking down on the Church and arresting priests, most famously Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who remains a political prisoner today.
The event seeks to elevate voices on the frontlines in the fight for democracy in Nicaragua, including leaders of the Catholic Church and wider civil society, as part of an ongoing series of work by CSIS on Nicaragua and its descent into authoritarianism.
The CSIS Americas Program has convened several public and private events on Nicaragua, including a launch event for a report on the treatment of political prisoners, and a private meeting with former political prisoners. The Americas Program has also released numerous written pieces and podcasts analyzing the regime, its sources of support, and options for U.S. policymakers.
The University of Notre Dame’s Pulte Institute for Global Development in the Keough School of Global Affairs has been supporting researchers and civil society in Nicaragua for nearly a decade through the Central America Research Alliance (CARA). Prior to the revocation of the charters of most university and civil society groups in Nicaragua, CARA provided grants and capacity exchange for research on human rights in the country. Since 2018, CARA has provided support for civil society advocates that remain in the country and those in exile, including public and private advocacy in support of CARA member and former political prisoner Felix Maradiaga and Nicaraguan universities. The Pulte Institute is currently conducting a project to support evidence-based advocacy for human rights and democracy in the current context in Nicaragua and northern Central America.
This event is made possible by the generous support of the University of Notre Dame.