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???