Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Militaries exonerated in Honduras

The military leadership in Honduras was today exonerated by the Supreme Court of Justice, for having allowed the deposed president, Zelaya, to leave the country. Their orders, issued by the same court, had been to arrest him. The chief justice, Rivera, accepted the defense argument that they had acted in a “situation of real danger in Honduras” and under a threat of an “institutional collapse of the state.”

The defense had presented evidence that there were about 950 armed foreigners in Honduras on June 28, who presented a clear and present danger to the country.

Six militaries were prosecuted, and all of them were exonerated of all charges.

With this trial, all remaining doubt about the legality of the deposing of Zelaya is gone. This is a complete vindication for president Micheletti, who is serving his last day in office today. Tomorrow the newly elected president, Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, will be sworn in.

Lobo’s first act, already before becoming president, was to sign an agreement with the Dominican president, in which Pepe promised to give Zelaya free passage from the Brazilian embassy, where he has been since September 21, to Dominica. He will do this immediately after taking office tomorrow. Pepe has been harshly criticized in Honduras for this act, and it is still not clear that it will be considered legal, partly because it does not adhere to the convention dealing with political asylum.

Also today, the national congress is debating an amnesty for Zelaya and others for the events around June 28, when Zelaya was de facto attempting a coup d’état. Pepe claims that people want an amnesty, but what I hear is just a giant roar from all quarters that nobody wants amnesty for criminals. Many consider Zelaya a gigantic criminal, but foreign press tends to spin it such that it is Micheletti who needs amnesty for a “coup d’état” – even though it was no coup d’état. Luckily, justice is made in courts and not in newspapers.

The real problem is that international media will take an amnesty bill, if passed, as the Congress confessing to being guilty of doing a coup d’état. Based on the comments from the congressional leaders, they seem completely oblivious to this. Don’t they have Internet in Honduras? Don’t they have a War Room with staff who follow international media’s reporting???

Media: BBC, NY Times, and a thorough blog on the subject, La Gringas Blogicito.

Honduran Militaries to be Sentenced Tuesday

In the case against the joint chiefs of staff in Honduras for having flown Zelaya to Costa Rica rather than thrown him in jail, a sentence is expected Tuesday January 26. One day before the inauguration of the new president. It is probably on purpose, since the security risks are considered very high on Wednesday, why it must be clear that those in command have complete authority under the constitution.

This case has been deemed the pivoting point for the entire issue of legality of the deposing of Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009. Not just in the first post on this blog, but also by Freedom House and their annual report on the state of freedom in the world. In the 2009 report they removed Honduras from the list of countries with an elected leader, but with the comment that if the military had been prosecuted, the country would have remained on the list.

Unfortunately the prosecutor did not have his case ready for indictment until January 6, too late for last year’s report. But now that they have been prosecuted, the case has to be declared closed, regardless of what the sentence will be: There was no military coup in Honduras.

With this case it has been proven that the democratic form of government in Honduras is unbroken. The world has punished the poor country for almost seven months without cause. The Micheletti government fought against wind and tide for half a year, opposed by not just the international community, but also by a small but vocal part of the population, which was fooled by the international community into thinking that their head of state was a coupster – although he was the legitimate president all along.

Honduras has made tremendous economical losses, and even losses in human life, due to this mistake on part of the international community. Who will pay for that?

There is no place where to send the invoice. The moral of the story is for the Hondurans that they cannot count on anybody but themselves. The only compensation that they will have, is that they have learned a lesson: If you stand alone any gust of wind can bring you down on your knees, but if you stand arm in arm and support each other, you can face the storm standing tall.

Honduras is a re-born country because of this. “Yes we can!” has replaced “What’s the point?”

From what I hear, the feeling is that the lesson was worth the price, even though it was a very high price. If future governments live by it, the people who died – regardless of political opinion – will not have died in vain, but died for the country. Whether they supported Micheletti or the resistance, if they died in the passion of the struggle, they died for their country.

The Honduran military leadership will be prosecuted

The Supreme Court of Justice convened today at 15:00 local time in Tegucigalpa to consider the case brought before it by the Attorney General. They decided to take the case, and appointed the president of the court as the justice to handle the case, according to information that came out a couple of minutes ago.

Footnote. It appears that the decision to prosecute the military top brass has indeed convinced Micheletti’s detractors that the removal of Mr. Zelaya was no coup. Not even the left-leaning New York Times is using the word coup any longer, when reporting about Honduras.