Posts Tagged ‘Manuel Zelaya’

Honduras: Re-election or constituent assembly?

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

[Translation of an article from Contralínea of Mexico City for February 6, 2015. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Daniel Urbino

Honduras is being visited by ghosts from the recent past. Some political sectors are moving pieces on the chess board and sparking debate on the need for a constituent assembly, for allowing re-election or for maintaining the status quo.

The dispute gained strength on December 8, 2014, when more than a dozen congress members from the ruling Partido Nacional (PN) and one from the Unificación Democrática submitted an appeal to the supreme court on the constitutionality of an article of the Honduran constitution. The article, number 239, declares that a citizen who has held the position of head of the executive branch cannot become president again. Anyone violating this provision or proposing its reform, as well as those who support [its reform], directly or indirectly, will immediately surrender their respective positions and will remain ineligible for any public function for ten years, the provision further states.

This is not the first time the topic has been taken up in Honduras. In 2009, then President Manuel Zelaya promoted what was known as the “fourth ballot,” a non-binding survey to determine if the people were in favor of a constitutional reform or not. This would take place on the same day as the elections of the president, congress members and mayors, for which reason it was called the “fourth ballot.” (more…)

Honduras: Coups or fraud, it’s all the same

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for November 28, 2013. See original here.]

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera

The scandalous theft of the November 24 election in Honduras confirms the high degree of coordination and planning in the offensive being conducted by the United States and the oligarchies against the popular forces and governments of our region. Who knows what Secretary Kerry had been smoking when he proclaimed to the OAS the end of the Monroe Doctrine.

The offensive works in several directions. On the one hand, incessant media and economic assault and destabilization plans against the progressive forces that have come to govern, as can be seen in Venezuela in a very aggressive way in the past few months, but which also occur with different degrees of intensity in Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil. (more…)

Honduran Right rejects Chávez but covets Venezuelan oil

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

With no evidence, Capriles claims Caracas contributed millions of dollars to the Zelaya administration

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for October 13, 2012.  See original here.]

by Arturo Cano

Caracas, October 12 – “And when was the 100-million dollar contribution?”  Henrique Capriles Radonski shuffled his papers.  “In 2010,” he said.  “What?  He gave the money to (Roberto) Micheletti?” was heard in the auditorium.  “Well, I’ll clear it up later and let you know.”

One of the lines of attack by the opposition candidate when he took part in public events during the recent campaign was to repeat a list of “contributions” that the Hugo Chávez government had made all over the world.

The initial exchange took place on October 1 in a press conference presented by  Capriles, who only four days after his defeat in the presidential race registered again as a candidate, this time for re-election as governor of the state of Miranda, to say to  foreign correspondents that he would not give away Venezuelan money and to accuse Chávez of being a mono-exporter:  “The only thing he exports is his political agenda.” (more…)

Paraguay, another Honduras?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for June 25. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Guillermo Almeyra

The conspiracy against the Paraguayan president, former bishop Fernando Lugo, began the day he won the presidential election, since he could only assume office thanks to a popular mobilization. Without a party of his own, without a parliamentary caucus of any importance to back him, with a vast but dispersed and disorganized supportive base in the peasantry, forced to face opposition in the hierarchy of his own church, he has always depended on a fragile alliance with the party of Vice President Federico Franco, the Liberal Radical party, which is extremely conservative and represents a sector of the landowners.

Partisans of the Stroessner dictatorship, meanwhile, were and still are embedded in the public administration, the police forces, the so-called justice system and the Supreme Court. Lugo tried too late to form a party/front, the Frente Guasú (“broad” in Guaraní), which is just now taking its first steps and is far from being homogeneous. But all the Paraguayan Rights, backed in the shadows by the United States, wanted to leave no room for the center-left to organize and to try to hold on to power, even though there is more than a year to go before the end of Lugo’s term and ten months before the elections, in which in any case the president cannot be re-elected. (more…)

Honduras: Campesinos doubt that prosecutor will charge those responsible for assassinations in Aguán

Sunday, April 29th, 2012


((Revistazo photo))

[Translation of an article from Revistazo of Tegucigalpa for April 20. See original here  and related articles here, here and here.]

Tegucigalpa – The Ministry of the Interior has announced the issuing of warrants for police, military and civilians involved in human rights violations and the assassinations of more than 50 people in the Bajo Aguán region. The campesino leadership considers it necessary to punish those responsible but has no confidence in any actions the prosecutor may take.

Although he did not disclose the names of those involved, Special Prosecutor for Human Rights Germán Enamorado told the press that the prosecutor’s office has succeeded in gathering the evidence needed to initiate prosecutions, which in the case of public employees will involve charges for abuse of authority, dereliction of duty, personal injury and attempted homicide. (more…)

Police corruption thrusts Honduras into the arms of the military

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011


((Guardian photo))

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador, El Salvador, for December 1, 2011. See original here.]

By José Luis Sanz

To be a police officer in Honduras these days is to be looked at with fear and, above all, and this is new, with scorn. Last October 22 police agents killed two university students. Two more bodies in a country whose murder rate is the highest on the continent – 88 for every 100,000 inhabitants – and in which for years civil society organizations like the Centro de Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de las Víctimas de la Tortura (CPTRT – Center for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture) denounce systematic abuse of authority committed by the National Police, the influence of drug trafficking in its ranks and the operations of uniformed extermination groups. (more…)

International Criminal Court investigates coup in Honduras

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Those responsible for coup against Zelaya could be indicted in Rome for crimes against humanity

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for October 7. See original here.]

Tegucigalpa – The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating those who led the coup d’état in Honduras on June 28, 2009, which overthrew the constitutional president, Manuel Zelaya.

This according to former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, who heads a delegation of jurists visiting Honduras.

Among those who could be judged internationally are de facto President Roberto Micheletti and General Romeo Vásquez.

Both could be charged with more than 200 human rights violations, including assassinations, torture, forced disappearances and arbitrary arrests, as well as repression of defenseless civilians.

Garzón is also participating in a workshop called “Impunity, freedom of expression and justice” being held in Tegucigalpa.

In the framework of this international event, Garzón declared that several political and military figures could be indicted by the international organization, an unprecedented event in Latin America.

The announcement was made during the closing ceremony of the workshop, in which close to 100 representatives of human rights organizations in Honduras, as well as other Central American countries, took part.

The Spanish jurist pointed out that “once we have the evidence in hand, we can give a response on whether there is in effect responsibility” in the deaths of eight people during the political crisis, documented by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which released its report in July.

The famous lawyer stated that preparations for the cases is very important, since if “there is the appearance of crimes against humanity” during and after the overthrow of Zelaya, “the preparation of the cases is fundamental” so that they will have “greater possibility of being successful.”

The event was also attended by Eugenia Valenzuela, a member of the delegation who represents prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo of the ICC.

During the opening of the meeting, the United Nations rapporteur for the Freedom of Expression, Frank de la Rue, announced that he will submit a request to the government of Honduras to conduct an official visit to investigate the deaths of 16 journalists between 2010 and the present.

Active in the Honduran resistance, he is now in political exile in Argentina

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

An interview with Guillermo Padilla Amador

[Abridged translation of an interview from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for September 19. See original here.]

by Gustavo Veiga

In Honduras, he took part in the resistance movement against the coup that deposed President Manuel Zelaya and a year later he had to seek exile. Despite the fact that Zelaya returned to Honduras and there is now an elected government, dozens of opponents have been assassinated with the coming of a wave of supposed street violence.

Why did you have to go into exile in Argentina after fighting for a year against the coup d’état against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras?

Because there are disguised political assassinations in my country and the Honduran army has the best advisers, Colombians as well as Israelis, for carrying them out. Singers of popular music are turning up run over by cars or activists done away with, with their pants pockets turned out. Street violence has been increased deliberately to cover up political assassinations. The Porfirio Lobo government has allowed these deaths. Fourteen journalists have been assassinated in Honduras during his government. That’s why I’m not going back. (more…)

Honduras: FNRP forms Broad Front for electoral politics

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Divisions and questions about process persist

[Translation of an article from Revistazo of Tegucigalpa for June 26, 2011. See original here and related articles here. An excellent interview with Bertha Cáceres of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras is here. Father and son Jaime and Yany Rosenthal, mentioned in the article, are members of a prominent Honduran family with ties to the Partido Liberal. Both opposed the coup. Yany Rosenthal, at one time editor of the newspaper Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula, was minister of the presidency in the Zelaya administration.]

Amid questioning, doubts, divergent opinions and the possible withdrawal of some of the groups making it up, an assembly of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular has created the Frente Amplio [Broad Front] as the political arm of the movement, through which it intends to participate in the elections of 2013.

With delegates from the 18 departments of the country attending the assembly, after little deliberation and participation, including speeches by union leaders and others, the coordinator of the FNRP, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and the sub-coordinator, Juan Barahona, offered a proposal which, in the opinions of many, was conceived beforehand and lacked consultation with the bases of the movement. (more…)

Honduras: What now, Zelaya?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Back in his country, the former president talks about the challenges of building unity on the left and about the disputes within his base

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo, Brazil, for June 24. See original here and related articles here.]

by Sílvia Álvarez

Tegucigalpa — At 59 years of age, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya is a man in search of his identity. “I still feel like a stranger; it is not easy to live outside your country, you lose your origins,” he declares when we ask how he has spent his first days back in Honduras after 17 months in exile in the Dominican Republic. The former president is back in his home, from which he was taken, still in his pyjamas, on the morning of June 28, 2009, in a civilian-military coup d’état. The gate is better guarded now, but the house has the same rustic furniture as before, together with framed photographs of his family. (more…)

Honduras: Zelaya says judge’s ruling imperils reconciliation

Friday, June 17th, 2011

[Translation of an article from Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula for June 16. See original here and a number of related articles here. The “Cuarta Urna,” or “Fourth Ballot Box,” referred to in the article would have added to the general election ballot the question of whether to hold a referendum allowing citizens to decide whether to convoke a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution. Proponents of the coup d’état against Zelaya claimed the attempted referendum was unconstitutional and provided grounds for removing the president from office.]

Tegucigalpa – Former President of the Republic and coordinator of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP) Manuel Zelaya Rosales yesterday denounced a violation of the Cartagena Accord in the form of a judicial rulings against former Minister of the Presidency Enrique Flores Lanza.

Penal court judge Claudio Aguilar sentenced the former minister to house arrest and imposed a fine of 27 million lempiras for alleged misappropriation of funds, which were to be used presumably for promotion of the Cuarta Urna.

Zelaya announced that next Monday, when Flores Lanza is to return to court, he will lead a demonstration to the capital city’s courts, located in the La Granja neighborhood, in support of the former member of his cabinet.

He declared that what happened to Flores Lanza “reflects badly and bodes ill for the hopes and efforts President Porfirio Lobo Sosa has shown for a politial reconciliation among Hondurans and attests to the lack of coherence of the Honduran government, which signed an accord that was ratified by the OAS and is being violated 15 days later.”

Zelaya, whose return to the country was a product of the accord in question, emphasized that on the day of the rulings against the former minister “violation of the Cartagena de Indias Accord began, an international agreement that allowed Honduras to return to the Organization of American States, but that has begun to be violated, disrespected and not fulfilled.”

“We protest directly this violation and we demand the fulfillment of the accord. Citizen Enrique Flores Lanza, a former minister and a member of the political committee of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, returned to the country peacefully to appear before the court voluntarity on the basis of the presumption of innocence,” he declared…

Honduras: “Cheap and easy to stage a coup”

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Porfirio Lobo, Hillary Clinton

Human rights group charges Honduras has not met minimal conditions for rejoining OAS

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador, El Salvador, for June 13, 2011. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

by Juan José Dalton

San Salvador – The return of Honduras to the bosom of the Organization of American States (OAS) was the pebble in the shoe for its 41st General Assembly, which ended in San Salvador on June 7 and which had as its principal theme public security, which concerns the Central American region in particular, categorized by international experts, and even by the United States military, as a more deadly region than even Iraq or Afghanistan. (more…)