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July-August 2010
Vol. 35, No. 4


Honduras: One year anniversary of coup

The following article is based on a June 28 entry at Hemispheric Brief, a website focused on Latin American politics and policy.

On the one year anniversary of the coup d’etat … an editorial in El Tiempo [states that] Honduras is experiencing a situation of profound “abnormality.” The social-political trauma caused by the coup is very different than past coups, the paper writes, “due to the complex characteristics of its authors -- a coalition of individuals holding state power, businessmen, the military, religious fundamentalists, and politicians, never before seen in Honduras.”

The paper continues: “Moreover, the true motivations of the golpistas remain hidden behind a dense rhetoric about defending democracy from a supposed socialist totalitarian threat, when the real purpose was -- and continues to be -- preventing any possibility for the Honduran people to have their own voice and participation, since, from the elite perspective, the people do not have the capacity to reason.”

Added to this all, says [the editorialists], is the power of narcotraffickers -- a force, in addition to the golpistas, who desire a weak Honduran state.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, focuses on whether or not the return of [deposed President Manuel] Zelaya might help facilitate a solution to the on-going crisis. Some analysts, like Francisco Rojas, secretary general of [the Latin American School of Social Sciences, FLACSO], say the ousted former leader’s return would open the door for Honduras’s re-entry to the Organization of American States (as well as a new deal with the international financial institutions to help the country’s cash-strapped economy). Others disagree, however, continuing to argue Zelaya must be taken to court should he return to his native country.…

[In June,] 27 members of the U.S. Congress sent [a letter] to Secretary of State Clinton .... [to express their “continuing concern regarding the grievous violations of human rights and the democratic order which commenced with the coup and continue to this day.” They called for Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, to visit Honduras and “make a prompt assessment of what is occurring there with regards to human and political rights.” The letter also says that “without an early and accurate report, we would be reluctant to see U.S. support for Honduras continue without significant restrictions.”]

[T]he Washington Office on Latin America has released a statement citing the persistence of human rights violations, illegal dismissals, impunity, and attacks on journalists. And here’s how Amnesty International’s Guadalupe Marengo puts it: “President Lobo has publicly committed to human rights but has failed to take action to protect them, which is unacceptable. He needs to show he is serious about ending the climate of repression and insecurity in Honduras - otherwise the future stability of the country will remain in jeopardy.”

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