Tags: Analysis: Honduran Commission Blames Both in Coup

Analysis: Honduran Commission Blames Both in Coup

Monday, 11 Jul 2011 08:29 AM

Last week’s report by the Honduran International Truth and Reconciliation Commission blamed both then-President Zelaya and the opposition for the 2009 coup in an attempt to heal the divided country.

The Honduras Truth and Reconciliation Commission, organized under the auspices of the Organization of American States to investigate the 2009 Honduran coup, announced its findings in Tegucigalpa on Thursday. The Commission stated that removing President Zelaya from power was not a constitutionally approved succession -- the justification by the opposition who took the action -- but an extra-judicial coup. However, the commission also blamed President Zelaya for sparking the controversy, saying he broke several laws and provoked a crisis with the Supreme Court and Congress by insisting on holding a referendum on extending his presidential term. Both sides continue to deny any wrongdoing in the crisis.

Analysis

Although neither side is completely happy with the findings, spreading the blame will avoid creating further divisions in the country. The final report allows an end to the official discussion of the coup and the actors, focusing instead on the need for democratic processes. It also reinforces the importance of the OAS as a regional arbiter. Honduras was expelled from the OAS after the coup, but returned to the organization in June.

In June 2009, soldiers woke President Zelaya and forced him onto a plane to exile in Costa Rica at gunpoint. Congress and the Supreme Court backed the coup, saying Zelaya was acting illegally in holding an illegal vote to change the constitution and allow presidential re-election. After Zelaya’s ouster, supporters held large demonstrations, and at least 20 people were killed. Congress then named Roberto Micheletti, head of the legislature, as interim president. The crisis continued in September 2009, when Zelaya secretly returned to the country in an effort to re-gain power. In November 2009, the country elected Porfirio Lobo President, and in January 2010, Zelaya was exiled to the Dominican Republic. He returned to Honduras legally in May 2011.

Analysis

The coup and ensuing crisis demonstrates the continued frailty of Honduran democratic institutions. The country lacks mechanisms to resolve power conflicts, and there is a tendency to return to populism and personality cults rather than to rely on democratic principals in times of crisis. To avoid further chaos, the country needs to implement strong problem solving mechanisms and gain public support for democratic processes. Without clear procedures and public buy-in for the rule of law, crisis will continue to undercut democracy.

The next flashpoint is likely to be the run-up to the 2013 elections. Zelaya remains extremely popular in Honduras, and his supporters are pushing for his re-election in 2013. However, The Honduran constitution prohibits him from seeking office, an exclusion Zelaya sought to change in 2009 with a referendum. Any attempt to resurrect eliminating term limits probably would reopen the emotional debate over the coup and lead to renewed demonstrations.

Lisa M. Ruth is a former CIA analyst and officer. She is currently Managing Partner of C2 Research, a boutique research and analysis firm in West Palm Beach, Florida and is Vice President at CTC International Group, Inc., a private intelligence firm.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

1Like our page
2Share
TheAmericas
Last week’s report by the Honduran International Truth and Reconciliation Commission blamed both then-President Zelaya and the opposition for the 2009 coup in an attempt to heal the divided country.
Analysis: Honduran Commission Blames Both in Coup
522
2011-29-11
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved