Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Unclear On The Concept

It was the Day of the Armed Forces earlier this week. The day celebrates events of October 21, 1956 when the Armed Forces of Honduras overthrew President Julio Lozano Diaz in a military coup. There was a very long article celebrating their role in this on Armed Forces website, but they have since removed it, substituting a shorter piece about the 1956 coup. The relevance? The military alleged that Lozano Diaz was trying to fraudulently prolong his time in office. This coup ushered in a cyle of coups, some bloody, and governments, mostly military, that continued until 1982 when the current constitution was written in a consitutional assembly, ironically with Roberto Micheletti a minor participant. It ended with the coup on June 28.

The Armed Forces of Honduras didn't celebrate on October 21 this year with the usual public parades; rather they kept to their bases, said mass, and reviewed the troops. Today, however, they choose to go more public. General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez ordered a general deployment of the troops and that they show their might in parades within their bases, for which the public will be charged a $20 lempira entrance fee. The money will allegedly go to charity. This, they assert, will bring them closer to the people.

I wanted to write about that longer piece up on the Armed Forces website, the one that outlined their constitutional role and then, without segue went in to a celbration of their role in the 1956 coup. I wanted to write about the irony, the sadness that this represented, but they apparently rethought what they were doing and removed it, substituting a series of smaller, less celbratory articles on the same topics. Instead I'll leave you with this.

When asked how it felt to celebrate their day four months after removing Zelaya from power, Ramiro Archaga, spokesperson for the military said:

"We feel good, secure in what we are doing and what we have done. We need to be content and proud to be living in a situation like this, a situation in which we have never lived before.... The institution has given a real demonstration of its role in defending the Constitution of the Republic. We are very proud to be members of the Armed Forces. I tell my companions...that there will never be another moment like this. This is a special moment for the institution....We don't regret anything."

2 comments:

phoenixwoman said...

A colonel of the Armed Forces, Concepción Jiménez, was assassinated today. It struck me that this could be a criminal act, a personal feud, reprisal against a member of the military loyal to Zelaya, or the emergence of a violent wing of the resistance. The description of it sounded like trained assassins, not the kind of thing that the resistance is likely to be capable of. Is there any news that might clarify what happened here?

Similarly, any idea about Enzo Micheletti, who seems to have been kidnapped and shot while helpless? Tiempo says that he was the brother of a member of the resistance, but of course he is the nephew of Micheletti.

--Charles

rns said...

The newspapers are attributing both deaths to random acts of violence. In the case of the Colonel, the gunmen fired from a taxi.

Enzo Micheletti was killed execution style, with his hands tied behind his back, and his body was found in Choloma with another body which has not been identified. Enzo's stolen car was recovered with a flat tire and the police are operating on the assumption that it was a crime, not politically motivated.