Tag Archives: CRO

No coup in Honduras says Congress legal expert

A legal expert at the US Congressional library, Norma C. Gutiérrez, has studied the legalities around the deposing of president Zelaya in Honduras on June 28, and found that it was done legally (although exiling him was not). It was thus not a coup. Here is the report.

The crucial conclusion is formulated thus: “Available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system.” Thus, it was not a coup d’état, in plain English.

A detail: The decree PCM-19-2009 that is mentioned on page 3 is dated June 25, not May 26. See original.

The anti-Honduran slant of New York Times is obvious in their coverage of this report. The article ends: “Her bottom line: the case against Mr. Zelaya was rooted in constitutional and statutory law. His removal from the country was not.” They are leaving their readers with the wrong impression. The distinction is that the removal of president Zelaya from office was legal, but the removal of citizen Zelaya from Honduras was not.

Related in DN.

Ingen kupp i Honduras säger expert i USAs kongress

En juridisk expert vid USAs kongressbibliotek, Norma C. Gutiérrez, har studerat händelseförloppet kring avsättandet av president Manuel Zelaya, och lagarna i Honduras, och funnit att det gick lagligt till. Det var alltså inte en statskupp. Här är rapporten, rykande färsk.

Den avgörande punkten formuleras såhär: “Available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the Honduran legal system.” I översättning, “Tillgängligt källmaterial visar att de rättsskipande och lagstiftande statsmakterna tillämpade grundlagen och andra lagar i fallet med president Zelaya på ett sätt som de honduranska myndigheterna från bägge statsmakterna bedömde vara i enlighet med det honduranska juridiska systemet.” Eller i klartext, det var ingen statskupp.

Det skall påpekas att medan det var lagligt att avsätta president Zelaya så var det naturligtvis olagligt att landsförvisa medborgaren Zelaya.

En randanmärkning, bara: Det dekret PCM-19-2009 som nämns på sidan 3 är daterat 25 juni, inte 26 maj. Här är det, skannat.

Erik de la Riguera i DN fortsätter dock skamlöst att kalla det en kupp utan att så mycket som med ett ord nämna gårdagens stora händelse för alla som följer Honduras på nära håll: Rapporten. Att han har grumliga värderingar framgår också av vad han skriver om Chávez, ‘Även i Honduras … förväxlas denna nya variant av demokratisk socialism ofta med ”kommunism”’. Han underlåter att upplysa läsarna att “demokratisk socilism” är kod för att avskaffa den konstitutionella demokratin och dess institutioner till förmån för envälde och gatans makt, och att Chávez nationaliserar hej vilt och stänger media som är regimkritiska. Flamman har skrivit i positiva ordalag om denna plan vars slutmål är i allt utom namnet samma som läget på Kuba nu.

Om Honduras i SvD

US Congress Research Office’s report on Honduras

On September 10th, the congressional non-partisan research office presented a report about Honduras. It is invaluable as a source of information about how the US sees the events, and the binational relationship. It is based on official documents and newspaper articles, the latter unfortunately playing too big a role, since they are often full of errors due to simplifications or misunderstandings in translations.

Let me first point out that the author, Peter J. Meyer, left out on page 3 the publication of decree PCB-019-2009 on June 25th, an act that the judicial experts in Honduras considers very serious. Also, the author displays a clear ideological bias in opening statements such as “Zelaya’s forced exile marked the country’s first departure from democratic, constitutional governance” on page 4. Thus, keep in mind that his bias is against Honduras when reading it.

While the report mentions Zelaya’s policies of reducing fuel costs, it leaves out the side effects, some of which I personally experienced when carrying out an expert mission for IAEA, i.e., lack of fuel hampering work and making us loose days of work.

On page 5, Meyer writes “Zelaya has argued that presidential reelection should be possible and that the constitution—drafted in 1982—must be amended…” Actually, if Zelaya had said as much it would be a blatant violation of §239 which would have prompted his immediate removal from office, but the author does not seem aware of the fine details of the constitution. In fact, Zelaya never said that to my knowledge, but his actions were apparently interpreted by the prosecutor and court to imply that. His own justification was that liberal democracy was obsolete and that a new form of democracy was required, with less power to the other institutions of government (beside the president).

Om page 6, the secret arrest warrant of the Supreme Court is mentioned, and the date June 25th given to it. As I have blogged before, there is ample “ear witness” accounts and circumstantial evidence that this is true, and even I was told about it on the 25th, in the form of a hint that some action would be taken against Zelaya.

On page 7 the poll taken shortly after the change of president is mentioned, but unfairly. As reported in this blog (cf. the update), two questions were asked: Was it justified to depose Zelaya? Yes 41%, No 28%; Do you agree with the actions to remove Zelaya from the country? Yes 41%, No 46%. Thus, the majority thinks he should be deposed, but the majority also thinks he should not have been exiled (which is illegal, of course). It is a sign of bias that the report only mentions the second question.

Furthermore, the bias continues by not mentioning the rampant crimes committed by a significant number of people supporting Zelaya in destroying private property. The government has a duty to uphold order and to protect the citizens. To criticize it for doing so when the citizens are under attack, while ignoring the attack, is not fair.

On page 10 the report states that Micheletti rejected the San José Accord. I am rather certain that it is wrong, and it is only based on a foreign newspaper article (New York Times). As far as I am aware, Micheletti has no objection, but the Supreme Court and one other institution have, and furthermore Congress says amnesty can only be granted for political crimes.

The rest in the reportis unrelated, but let me just quote one figure to illustrate that the scholarship seems to be wanting. On page 12 the number of dead as a result of hurricane Mitch in 1998 is given as “more than 5,000” . For years I worked in several reconstruction projects after Mitch, in Honduras and Nicaragua, and this is the first time I hear a figure of under 10,000 dead in Honduras. I can only quote my countryman Axel Oxenstierna: “If you only knew my son, with how little wisdom the world is run” (written 1648).