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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fito's Plan Causes Conflict

Adolfo Facussé's plan to resolve the crisis in Honduras has stirred up a controversy within the country. This morning, La Tribuna wrote about Luis Larach, presdent of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the department of Cortés (CCIC), who feels Facussé has overstepped his bounds and stepped on Congresses toes.

Larach noted that Facussé's plan involves allowing 3000 foreign soldiers into the country as a peace keeping force, and restoring, if only for a few hours, Manuel Zelaya. "These themes pertain to the National Congress and the Judiciary, anyone who makes these proposals lightly should not have any validity," Larach said.

"All of us should think and propose, but the entities charged to carry this agreement out should be the corresponding authorities and to us the productive aparatus, maintaining employment and moving forward the national economy."

Almilicar Bulnes, presending of COHEP, another business council, said the plan doesn't benefit the private sector in general, that it leaves it up to the proper authorities to do that. "I don't know about the proposal of ANDI, but its not from the private sector, I have not spoken with Adolfo Facussé about the proposal, particularly it appears to me that the situation in Honduras is not such that any kind of foreign invasion would come," Bulnes said. "We are not capable of making a decision over these types of negotiations and including we have not solicited a proposal from COHEP, this does not exist."


Doug Zylstra said...

Aside from the 3000 troop thing, do you see this as being all that different from the Arias Plan and if Micheletti is truly behind it, as is reported( can't see how Zelaya doesn't sign off on it. (btw, I didn't see the Facusse plan proposing a restitution-resignation maneuver. I think that was simply the Times recycling some ideas from last month)

Nell said...

No honor among thieves, eh?

Encouraging report and good analysis in comments here from Ryan Vaquero of the Bay Area Latin American Solidarity Coalition.

Doug Zylstra said...


And I don't see the 3000 troop thing being in a final accord. Which country is going to want to send soldiers just to babysit Zelaya, just so a few ricachones can sleep well at night?

RNS said...

Its not all that different than what Arias is proposing. The bit about Zelaya turning over firing of the cabinet and the miltary to the Council of Ministers is to deal with a concern the golpistas raised with the Arias accord but otherwise its basically consistant with it it.

The Facusse plan didn't propose the restoral and resignation of Zelaya as covered in the Honduran press. That does appear to be a NYT invention.

I've had issues before with the facts in articles authored by Ginger Thompson

Doug Zylstra said...


I realize that the plan is not what the resistance wants, or would like, but it's still a prettty good result for them. Clinton had to send troops to Jean-Bertrand Aristide reinstated, so they'll have done something fairly significant.

They'll also have some leverage going into the new president's term in 2010 to force a pathway to the constituent assembly. The new president will, in some sense, be on his heels, and could easily be open to it as a way of increasing his legitimacy.

The fact that Zelaya also seems to be responding well ( makes me hopeful.

Doug Zylstra said...

Nell -
Thanks for the link, I agree with most of what Ryan has to say, but I disagree about the role the US can play at this point. With the exception of Monday's disaster at the OAS, I think the US has done in good job in putting a somewhat steady hand on the scale of democracy in Honduras. However, if there is indeed a strong current toward resolution as it seems, we need to step back and let the Hondurans carry it over the finish line. They've already done great things in resisting the coup and now being able to put together an agreement in which nobody gets exactly what they want, but that all are somewhat satisfied with seems a great achievement as well, but on another scale.

I think for the same reason, I disagree with Al's post. The giving of Micheletti a sinecure in Congress is another example where the other side hates it, but hey, you have to realize there is alot of opposition to having Zelaya come back, even for what would be be a fairly ceremonial position. Honduras is a small country, and Tegucigalpa a small town. These guys are going to have to deal with each other and try to work together to putting the country on a decent path to both economic and legal equity long after the international spotlight is gone.

RNS said...

Micheletti has just rejected Fito's plan claiming it has constitutional problems.

paraphrasing Micheletti, we need a San Jose Accord II, we have to discuss the 12 points and remove those that are causing internal problems and make it possible to modify the others.

Doug Zylstra said...


I wonder if those 'constitutional concerns' are the same as the ones that the SC had back in August when they released their opinion of the original San Jose; ie. that there are standing charges against him that can't be abrogated (nor one supposes, amnistied away). However, RAJ made the point back then, and I assume it still holds, the the SC could simply drop the charges, without any fancy maneuvering.

One question I've always had, and it may be relevant in this context, is what would have happened if on June 28, Zelaya had simply been brought in on the Arrest warrant and not sent to Costa Rica. Would he retain the powers of the presidency, or would he have had them temporarily taken away while the Criminal Procedure was underway? The whole idea of Falta Absoluta being the only way to bring in a new president would seem to indicate that, unless the constitution forsees a president-less executive branch, he would retain the presidency while the case was underway.
It would also stand to reason that having charges against him, and being involved in criminal case would not be impediments to his reinstatement as President.

RNS said...

The "constitutional concerns" are similar to, but not identical with the Supreme Court constitutional concerns. The big sticking point for Micheletti seems to be the 3000 foreign peacekeepers.

He simply reiterated his position that the San Jose Accord is impossible due to constitutional issues, as written, so everything is up for negotiation, and nothing is agreed to.

I'll let RAJ address the legal ramifications of prosecuting a sitting president and whether he loses his title on being charged. I don't think he does, but I haven't read that law.

Doug Zylstra said...


Re NYT and their facts: (from Tomorrow's write-up @

"Mr. Zelaya would face trial, but he would not serve prison time if convicted; instead, he would be sentenced to house arrest."

I have not seen this anywhere; rather, I thought the mechanism was upon reinstatement, he would be put under house arrest while the legal proceedings were, in effect, restarted. I have not seen any mention as to what would happen if he were actually convicted of something. (Maybe that says something about the reletive weakness of the charges, I don't know).

All of this seems staus quo ante, with the proviso that he would simply face the criminal charges put forth, not the ones having to do with potential violations of election laws (ie. that whole referendum, Cuarta urna thing).

RAJ said...

The issue of what happens to a sitting president (or other "high government official") during a criminal trial is not explicitly addressed in the processual legal code.

But there are precedents for the trial of serving officials, and the overall legal precept (again, remember, not that old in Honduran law, and thus not well oiled) of presumption of innocence to give us some guidance.

Presumption of innocence would say that Zelaya is innocent until proven guilty; so while under trial, like any other innocent person, his service would continue. I find nothing to contradict this assumption, and cases of lower officials being tried support the assumption an official under trial remains in office.

For example, the mayor of San Pedro Sula, Padilla Sunseri, was charged and was tried, while remaining in office.

As it happens,yesterday Padilla Sunseri was removed from office as the end point of a trial reported in yesterday.

The removal from office was ordered by the Supreme Court after Padilla Sunseri exhausted his appeals. Removal from office itself would be based in any specific case on the penal code, which defines the punishments for specific charges.

Depending on which charge we are talking about, the charges in the Public Prosecutor's filing with the Supreme Court do include some that have removal from office as a sanction, if there was a finding of guilt, and if appeals were not sustained.

How long would legal proceedings have taken? would the initial charges have been sustained, or would some have been thrown out or reduced by the Supreme Court? we will never know.