Friday, 12 February 2010

Honduras: New president, but old problems

By RussiaToday: January 27, 2010
Today in Honduras Porfirio Lobo was sworn in as the country's new president. Lobo's inauguration brought to an end months of political turmoil in the country, which began with a coup last June that dethroned Manuel Zelaya. Are Honduras's political problems really over? And how should the international community react?

‘More Terror’ in Honduras, as Another Unionist Murdered

By Kari Lydersen
Source: Inthesetimes

The body of 29-year-old Vanessa Yamileth Zepeda, still dressed in her nurse’s scrubs and killed by a bullet, turned up in the Loarque neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on February 4. Zepeda had young children and was a leader of the SITRAIHSS labor union (Workers Union for the Honduran Social Security Institute). She had been abducted that afternoon while leaving a union meeting.

The administration of the newly inaugurated President Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo has called Zepeda’s murder and other recent attacks common crime. But the Honduran resistance movement – mobilized since the June 2009 coup against then-president Manuel Zelaya – see it as a clear message.

COFADEH: State terrorism contradicts discourse of reconciliation

02/06/2010 - 17:09 — AP - Source:

State terrorism against the resistance contradicts discourse of reconciliation

The state terrorism carried out since June 28th against the Honduran people continues through targeted crimes, political persecution and other violations of human rights, contradicting the discourse of reconciliation and the installation of a truth commission.

For the Committee of Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras, COFADEH, the current regime has a two-faced approach, which seeks to clean up an image drenched in blood and terror to present itself to the international community as a government of reconciliation.

Honduran Resistance in the Streets of Tegucigalpa

Rafael Alegría Interviewed by Jeffery R. Webber*
Source: Monthly Review

Hundreds of thousands of Hondurans took to the streets on Wednesday, January 27 to protest the inauguration of Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo Soza. Lobo was the victor in fraudulent elections held last November and his new regime is seen by the Honduran resistance as a continuation and consolidation of the coup regime that first came to power by overthrowing democratically-elected President, Manuel Zelaya, on June 28, 2009. During the march I caught up with Rafael Alegría, a key leader in the National Resistance Front, and a leading Honduran figure in the international peasant movement, Vía Campesina.

JRW: What are the principal demands of the resistance in this march today?

RA: The resistance has two principal pillars -- a social pillar for the revindication of the people's rights, in which the resistance accompanies people in their daily struggle, for agrarian reform, for just salaries, and opposition to the privatization of social services. This is the pillar of social mobilization.
The other pillar is the political arm -- to convert ourselves into a militant political force which will work towards taking political power in our country.

JRW: What are the objectives of the Constituent Assembly that the resistance is demanding?

RA: The power of the people is going to result in massive transformations in this country. We are demanding a Constituent Assembly that is going to transform this country, into a participatory democracy. It will be a new Honduras -- a country with social justice, with equality, with a new model of development in which everyone is included, and, as the Bolivians say, so that our entire country can live well.
It will be very different than the current situation, in which there is a privileged oligarchy, which owns and controls everything, while on the other hand there is an immense mass of impoverished people. This can't continue.
There are a huge number of people in this march. And this is the message we are sending to the entire oligarchic power groups and to the rest of the people.

JRW: In the next few months, what will the strategy of the resistance be?

RA: We are in a process of national organization, of articulation, and establishing schools of political education. Our mobilizations are also going to continue. We have a concrete immediate agenda of mobilization. Beyond that, we're preparing ourselves to participate in the elections in three years so that we can take definitive control.

*Jeffery R. Webber teaches political science at the University of Regina, Canada. He has three forthcoming books: Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia; The Politics of Evismo: Reform to Rebellion in Bolivian Politics; and (co-edited with Barry Carr) The Resurgence of Latin American Radicalism: From Cracks in the Empire to an Izquierda Permitida

Colombia's Uribe Signs Security Pact with Honduras' Lobo

TEGUCIGALPA – Colombian president Alvaro Uribe signed a security pact with his Honduran counterpart, Porfirio Lobo, and then flew back to his own country after a visit of three hours in the Central American nation.

After a private meeting with Lobo and the ministers of the new Honduran government, both presidents signed a brief declaration in which they committed to launching an “action plan in security matters” beginning next Feb. 15.

The accord states that the authorities responsible for security in the two countries will exchange experiences and best practices.

US alone in boosting Honduran ties after Zelaya's exile

Sat, 30 Jan 2010

Source: PressTV

The United States will resume aid to Honduras after the country's overthrown President Manuel Zelaya went into exile in the wake of a military coup in June 2009.

Washington's decision comes after the ousted president was forced into exile in the Dominican Republic, as Honduras swore in Porfirio Lobo as the new leader.

"I am happy that with the visit of US ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens, we are practically normalizing the ties with the United States of America," Lobo said at a joint press conference with the US diplomat.

Bolivia rejects new Honduran government

La Paz, Jan 30 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca stated on Saturday that Evo Morales''s government would not recognize the new Honduran Executive of President elect Porfirio Lobo, because the Bolivian government rejects dictatorships.
Bolivian newspaper La Razon published statements by Choquehuanca, and said several countries have said they would not accept those elections.
Bolivian top authorities said the constitutional President of Honduras is Manuel Zelaya, victim of a military coup on June 28, 2009, led by Roberto MIcheletti.
The Bolivian foreign minister also said his country would not change its stance, because its population has suffered military dictatorships in the past.
Porfirio Lobo was inaugurated on Wednesday, without the necessary support from the international community.
The current Honduran government is at risk of not being recognized by several Latin American countries, since they reject the illegal elections on November, 2009, organized under a de facto regime.

Nicaragua Not Recognizing New President of Honduras

Managua.— "Nicaragua cannot recognize Porfirio Lobo as the new president of that country, as his power is based on bayonets and a coup d’état," said the Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, cited PL news agency.

"We cannot recognize the government of Honduras as it is a continuity of the military coup which overthrew the ex-president Manuel Zelaya," said Daniel Ortega.

The US game in Latin America

US interference in the politics of Haiti and Honduras is only the latest example of its long-term manipulations in Latin America
      o Mark Weisbrot
      o, Friday 29 January 2010
      oSource: The US game in Latin America
      o See also: Mark Weisbrot: Who is in charge of US foreign policy?
When I write about US foreign policy in places such as Haiti or Honduras, I often get responses from people who find it difficult to believe that the US government would care enough about these countries to try and control or topple their governments. These are small, poor countries with little in the way of resources or markets. Why should Washington policymakers care who runs them?

Unfortunately they do care. A lot. They care enough about Haiti to have overthrown the elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide not once, but twice. The first time, in 1991, it was done covertly. We only found out after the fact that the people who led the coup were paid by the US Central Intelligence Agency. And then Emmanuel Constant, the leader of the most notorious death squad there – which killed thousands of Aristide's supporters after the coup – told CBS News that he, too, was funded by the CIA.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Amnesty International issues human rights plan for Honduras

  • The security forces committed acts of human rights abuse during the coup d'état
  • No-one has been held to account for these abuses
  • Amnesty International's report summarizes 20 cases including police killings
  • Honduran President Porfirio Lobo must ensure the abuses of the past seven months are dealt with quickly and effectively
28 January 2010

Amnesty International on Thursday issued a series of recommendations to newly elected Honduran President Porfirio Lobo to repair the damage done to human rights since the June 2009 coup d'état, which left hundreds seeking justice.

The 13 recommendations include issues relating to investigations into the human rights abuses committed by security forces, rejecting amnesty laws for those responsible for the crimes, training judges on international human rights legislation and setting up an effective witness protection programme.

Indigenous Organization COPINH: We march against the developers, planners, executors and inheritors of the Coup d'Etat

The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras COPINH communicates to the peoples of the world and to the people of Honduras in particular the following:
1. From the different Lenca communities and from all the corners of our country, we are mobilizing to participate in the great march convened by the National Front of Popular Resistance against the coup d'etat.
2. We mobilize to reject the regime of Porfirio Lobo Sosa, developer, planner, executor and inheritor of the coup d'etat, with which once again the oligarchy has violated the Constitution of the Republic.
3. We mobilize to denounce the impunity enjoyed in our country by the oligarchic, political, police and military leadership.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010





            I.         EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.          As its paramount mission is to “promote the observance and defense of human rights” in the Hemisphere, the Commission has been particularly attentive in following the situation of human rights in Honduras, and through its reports has reviewed a series of structural issues in the areas of justice, security, marginalization and discrimination that have for decades taken a toll on the human rights of its inhabitants.
2.            On June 28, 2009, the democratically elected President of Honduras was deposed and the democratic and constitutional order was interrupted.[1] At 5:00 a.m. that morning, Honduran Army troops, acting on orders of the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Vice Minister of Defense, stormed the presidential residence, took President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales into custody and flew him by military aircraft to Costa Rica. 
3.            That same day, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “Inter-American Commission”, “IACHR” or the “Commission”) issued its first press release on the situation in Honduras, in which it strongly condemned the coup d’état, made an urgent call to restore democratic order in Honduras and to respect human rights, and demanded that the situation of the Foreign Minister and other cabinet members be clarified immediately, as their whereabouts at the time were unknown.  On June 30, the Commission asked to conduct an urgent visit to Honduras.  Also, in furtherance of its duties to promote and protect human rights and given the hundreds of complaints it had received on June 28 and thereafter alleging grave human rights violations, the IACHR granted precautionary measures, requested information on the danger that certain persons faced as a consequence of the coup d’état, and requested information pursuant to Article 41 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, the “American Convention”) and Article XIV of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons (hereinafter, the “Convention on Forced Disappearance”).  It also issued a number of press releases.