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, October 29, 2009

Report both sides will sign tomorrow

Press reports most recently including AP say both sides have agreed to sign an accord establishing a power- sharing government. The restitution of President Zelaya will be voted on by Congress, news articles say, after Congress receives a report by the Supreme Court.

While AP says the Supreme Court already rejected restoral, that is not actually true. Their response to the original San Jose Accord said Zelaya faced legal proceedings. As there is no amnesty that would still be true. But due process and the right to defense and trial would be afforded and until a decision is reached, the presumption of innocence would apply.

The Supreme Court's original statement on June 29 simply accepted Congress' actions. They have admitted legal cases challenging the June 28 removal, but have not ruled. Twice the Court asked Congress for information for such cases. It is still awaiting a reply. Accepting the cases is a major step; it means there was sufficient grounds to consider the constitutional issues: the June 28 events were not an open and shut case. Congress stonewalled. Now the roles are reversed.


Nell said...

Comparing the provisions of the agreement as reported in La Prensa (transmitted by Greg Weeks) to those already agreed on as of October 15 (see link in comments at Weeks'), it seems clear that the mechanics of the restitution was the only new point.

The Court's judgment that executive power is retroactive to June 28 is legally crucial -- it's what erases the coup and reflects that Micheletti was never the legitimate president.

Despite the fact that they will now be internationally recognized, no one in Honduras or here is under any obligation to pretend that the elections, organized by an illegally constituted TSE made up of coup supporters now in charge of the Armed Forces, are anything but a sham.

The failure of the U.S. government to acknowledge (much less condemn) any of the violence by the dictatorship's goons has sent a loud message to the rest of the hemisphere, including its own citizens. Disgusting.

RAJ said...

As ever, eloquent and concise. See our post (that I was writing as your comment came in).

Note that La Prensa did not publish the final text, but rather, an enumeration of the points. I would like to see the final text. As Juan Barahona notes, timing of restoral (assuming Congress acts in good faith) is key.

What I hope will not happen is a return to the prior lack of attention to the situation in Honduras; part of the reason this dragged on so long was absolute ignorance of the country on the part of people who we would hope know better.

And I remind myself of two things: Zelaya's term in office was always slated to end this year, and probably even before the coup, a party change was in the winds. But what did not exist before June 28 was a viable, multi-sided, popular political movement. That has to be cultivated and helped to try to achieve a more truly participatory democracy. And I think we have seen who will be helping in that regard: Brazil comes out as the new hemispheric leader.

Nell said...

RAJ, and RNS: Your work here has made a huge contribution to the understanding of Honduran law, politics, and institutions.

I can't begin to thank you both enough; repeatedly since June 28, you have been sanity-savers. Know that the sacrifice of time away from your other work has been much appreciated, and has accomplished more than you may realize.