Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10/14 - Honduran Coup Update

Reuters - Honduran abuses rampant after coup
Suspicious deaths. Beatings. Random police shootings. Life under the de facto government of Honduras at times feels uncannily like Latin America's dark past of military rule. International and Honduran human rights groups say security forces have committed a litany of abuses. They link at least 10 deaths to de facto rule under Roberto Micheletti.

Amnesty International said in September that Honduras risks spiraling into a state of lawlessness where police and military act with no regard for rights. Honduran human rights group Cofadeh said it had numerous reports of police firing guns in poor areas of Tegucigalpa.

The Mark - Justifications for the removal of the Honduran president ignore one crucial fact: there’s no such thing as a constitutional coup.
Make no mistake: what happened was a coup. It doesn’t matter that the military acted on a court order – courts were complicit with the coup in Chile in 1973. It doesn’t matter that the architects and beneficiaries were civilians, as was the case in Ecuador in 2000, or that the coup itself was a relatively gentile affair by historical standards. It doesn’t matter that the president has occasionally behaved idiotically.

What does matter is that nothing the president did justifies his removal by force without due process. It matters that Zelaya was sent into exile rather than arrested and brought before a judge, and that the de facto regime has not proven in a court of law that the president broke the law. (What is more, he did not break the law: at no time did Zelaya propose to change the re-election rule, nor could he have done so before leaving office.) And it matters that the actions of Micheletti and his cronies violated the letter and the spirit of the law and were also inconsistent with basic principles inherent in all constitutions.

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