After Oscar Arias, new strategy required for Honduras

After Honduras president Manuel Zelaya was deposed on June 28th, and replaced by Roberto Micheletti, the Costarican president and Nobel Peace laureate Oscar Arias was entrusted with the task of facilitating talks between the two Honduran sides in search for a head of state that the world would recognize. After two months the tico president has not achieved the goal. Honduras remains diplomatically isolated and under increasing sanctions.

The problem seems obvious: Arias has been determined to achieve a preconceived outcome. He has acted as an arbitrator – and a judgmental one at that – rather than as an unbiased mediator. His stated goal has been the reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya as president, and he totally ignores the fact that the democratic institutions of Honduras, including the supreme court, affirms that it would be unconstitutional.

In other words, Oscar Arias ignores the legal reality in search for an entirely political solution.

A Solution

Logically, there is only one way to defuse the situation and that is to go the legal path; to seek what is right, and not what is politically expedient. The question is only how to do it, given that there is no court that can determine if it was a coup or not.

Or is there?

There may actually be a court case before the Honduran courts that can, coincidentally, settle the question. The attorney general of the country is investigating, I’ve been told, the expelling of citizen Manuel Zelaya from the country by the military on June 28. It was a patently unconstitutional act, and the chief lawyer of the military has stated that the military took the decision since they did not have adequate facilities in which to imprison the deposed president.

This court case will hopefully enable all Hondurans to find out what actually happened, and what considerations were made.

Personally I have much more faith in that this court case will bring peace back to Honduras, than any talks involving Manuel Zelaya. Ultimately what matters is what the people of Honduras thinks, not what the world thinks. If there is a legal consensus forming in the country about what happened, tensions will defuse.

How could anyone possibly be against this? Except those who do not want peace, democracy, and the rule of law, of course.

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