Posted
Oct 15, 2018
by
Thomas O’Toole, Executive Director of CIPA
In Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

UPDATED 10/16:

On Monday, October 15, 2018, CIPA confirmed that Ana Lucia Alvarez Vijil, CIPA ’17, was released from the Chipote Prison in Managua, along with her family and all other protesters forcibly detained during the October 14 political protests.  Ana and her family have been reported safe and unharmed. 

The quick support for Ana and the others imprisoned is a testament to the remarkable strength and empathy of CIPA’s global community.  Thanks to all of you for that support and for your continued efforts to make the world a better place.

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On Sunday, October 14, 2018, we were informed that Ana Lucia Alvarez Vijil, CIPA ’17, was forcibly detained by police in Managua, Nicaragua during a peaceful demonstration against political imprisonment.  She is being held in the Chipote prison along with her aunt, Ana Margarita Vijil, and her sister, Tamara Davila. 

Ana Lucia Alvarez Vijil, left, received her MPA diploma from then-CIPA Director Sharon Tennyson in May of 2017.

Ana Lucia Alvarez Vijil, left, received her MPA diploma from then-CIPA Director Sharon Tennyson in May of 2017.

 

Alumni of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) and our students are more than colleagues.  We are more than teachers and students.  We are a global family bound by the simple mission of improving people’s lives.  This was the mission that drove Ana to join us at Cornell--an abiding passion for leveraging the opportunity of studying at CIPA to improve lives in Nicaragua.  She was a Fulbright Scholar who actively participated in the Cornell Latin America Student Society (CLASS), and focused her studies on women’s empowerment.  She is a passionate defender of civil liberties, and the highest standards of accountability and transparency. 

 

As an institution that prepares alumni for the highest offices in public service, we are committed to a tradition of defending intellectual freedom, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government. Today, an invaluable member of our community was punished for exercising and promoting these freedoms.  For these reasons, CIPA strongly condemns the actions of the Government of Nicaragua, and we urge the immediate release of Ana and her family.