The Swedish presidency has issued a statement which criticizes the use of violence by the self-labeled resistance movement in Honduras. It does so in this sentence:
“The European Union … calls upon all political groups in Honduras to abstain from acts of violence.”
While triggered by a murder of a relative to a journalist, the statement is a clear indication of dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the regime critics. Before the November 29 elections, several buses belonging to interim president Micheletti were bombed, resulting in passengers being brought to hospital with injuries. Furthermore, the president’s nephew was murdered, several electrical power poles were destroyed, and dozens upon dozens of bombs and grenades were exploded. Recently the general in charge of fighting drug smuggling was murdered, shot dead in his car in broad daylight in the middle of the capital.
It is a sad fact that Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, the smallest police force in Latin America, a completely under-resourced judicial system, a huge problem with gang violence and drug smuggling. The country is in a critical situation and needs all the help it can receive, to get the upper hand on criminals, and those who take the law in their own hands. Sweden has helped with this until recently (although it now seems that the previous president was playing a double game by also helping the smugglers), and one can only hope that Sweden and the EU continues to support democracy and the rule of law.
This should include respecting the democratic institutions of Honduras, the constitution of the country, and the will of the people as expressed in the general elections. It should also include respecting the agreement between the various parties in Honduras, signed by Manuel Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti. The agreement said that it was for the Congress to decide whether Zelaya should be re-instated or not, and Congress has confirmed that their original decision stands. Therefore, if Sweden and the EU respect the sovereignty of Honduras, they will acknowledge that the government of the country is democratic, constitutional, and legitimate.