Nicaragua cancels legal status of Catholic Jesuit order

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(Reuters) - Nicaragua's government canceled the legal status of the Jesuit religious community, a prominent Catholic congregation, and ordered all of its assets confiscated, the country's interior ministry announced on Wednesday.

The move marks the latest action taken by the government of President Daniel Ortega in an extended crackdown on Nicaragua's Catholic church.

The religious group failed to present required financial statements over the last three years and had not updated its board of directors in violation of transparency laws, according to the ministry's announcement in the government's official gazette.

It was not immediately clear what assets would be seized or if individual Jesuits might be expelled from the country as a result of the legal cancellation.

Neither the government nor a spokesman for the religious order immediately responded to a request for comment.

The legal cancellation comes after the government earlier this month confiscated a prestigious Jesuit-run university in the Central American country, ordering the seizure of its assets and prompting it to suspend classes.

(Reporting by Ismael Lopez; Writing by Isabel Woodford; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Mark Porter)