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.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Now they want a truth commission

Several sources are reporting on an interview with the head of the Honduran Congress under the de facto government, José Alfredo Saavedra. The original source appears to be a La Tribuna interview with Saavedra. In it, he issues a public call for the international community to convene a truth commission as quickly as possible. Why does he want a truth commission? He says it will counteract the lies and positioning of those who want to return Manuel Zelaya to power. Here we see the recurring theme of the golpistas, that if only the world knows what they did, all will be forgiven. It never seems to cross his mind that a truth commission, made up of international representatives, might be critical of them.

"We came into this insisting that to avoid these problems, it is necessary to form a truth commission, and it should be done as quickly as possible. The international community is required to make the truth commission of people of different ideologies so that all at once, everyone will know the truth that comes from personal experience, testimony, and the proofs they might get."

"I feel that it is not the moment for us to confront each other. Discretion should guide everyone, and should rule in a country where we are accustomed to live in peace, to not attack one another, to not confront each other."

Saavedra indicated that he was surprised by the information being given to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH in Spanish) of the OAS, especially that there were torture chambers in the basement of the National Congress.

"These people only want to hurt the Honduran people because, in Congress, there have never been torture chambers in the basement."

Saavedra here seems to be forgetting that those testifying to the CIDH are Honduran people.

At the end of the La Tribuna article, there's an unrelated comment from Saavedra that Congress has rejected, after discussing all week, a return to mandatory military service. Compulsory military service was abolished because the military abused its draftees, pulling them off buses, from markets, and pressed them into service for 2 or 4 years, often feeding them poorly and not allowing them to communicate with their families for the first six months. Many "recruits" died. That Congress would be discussing a return to compulsory service was not popular among the Honduran populace.

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