Four years after university students led protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, his government is minimizing chances of a reoccurrence by seizing a dozen private universities and closing them or shifting control to the state.
A generation of students who participated in the April 2018 protests saw their education interrupted. Many were forced into hiding, jailed or exiled when Ortega’s police cracked down. Now others who managed to resume their studies worry they won’t be able to finish or have finished but can’t find work because the now state-run schools haven’t given them diplomas.
The seizure of the private universities in recent months and the passage of education reforms that increase state control are the latest examples of Ortega’s relentless pursuit of those he believes conspired to try to overthrow his government.