Forgiving Zelaya   Leave a comment

Dropping the charges against Zelaya is a political decision that violates the Honduran laws but it seems that there was no alternative. Zelaya’s ouster was correctly ordered by the Supreme Court in response to Zelaya’s violation of the stone articles. However, the military and Zelaya’s political enemies also violated the constitution by sending him into exile and falsifying a letter of resignation. Yet, only Zelaya was punished with his ouster while those on the other side of the conflict were given amnesty. So, the best solution would have been applying the law to both parties. However, it may preferable not to punish anyone than punishing only one side and leaving the other in impunity. The lesson we need to learn is that we need to improve our legal instruments and procedures to avoid this kind of misdeeds in the future. Only the rule of law can bring justice and prevent other crises. As for the Resistencia, I hope they will renounce to their calls for violence and revolution and will insert themselves into the political system as a new and legitimate political party. Our future must not be decided by the leftist Resistencia or the right-wing oligarchy but by the majority of the Honduran people, through free elections. I just hope this will be the end to the political crisis and the beginning of a better democracy.

Posted May 3, 2011 by jrargueta in Uncategorized

The International Community and Honduras   Leave a comment

The international community has repeatedly said that they want Honduras to respect its constitution and democratic system, that’s why they want ousted President Zelaya back into power.

However, it is obvious that they have not read the Honduran Constitution and, if they have, they have chosen to ignore the articles on which the Honduran Supreme Court was based to order the capture of President Zelaya on June 28 this year.

Yet, they are right on that his exile was unconstitutional and therefore the military who made that decision should also be capture and put on trial.  However, since Zelaya’s exile was not part of the court decision, it must be considered as a separate legal issue.  Therefore, the Military’s violation of the constitution can not cancel out Zelaya’s own violations and the legality of his removal from power.

Yet, it is very disturbing to see the international community reacting with such a herd mentality solely on the basis of what the Honduras events looked like to them, not on the actual underlying legality of his removal from power.

Even more disturbing is to see how President Obama and Secretary Clinton could have gotten Honduras wrong for so long.

The Law Library of Congress’s Directorate of Legal Research for Foreign, Comparative, and International Law published in August this year the Report for Congress No. 2009-002965 with the title “Honduras: Constitutional Law Issues”  In such report, Norma C. Gutiérrez, Senior Foreign Law Specialist, explains the constitutional ground and legality of Zelaya’s removal.  Yet, she also reveals the illegality of his exile, which, once again, is a completely separate legal issue from that of his removal from power.

So, President Obama and Secretary Clinton, both prominent lawyers, should certainly know better.

Yet, it is also conceivable that President Obama has decided to sacrifice (unimportant) Honduras in order to not antagonize South American leaders already concerned about the American military bases in Colombia.

President Obama has even announced the continuation of American economic aid to drug-exporting countries Bolivia and Ecuador, while cutting off economic aid to Honduras, a partner in the war on drugs.

So, President Obama’s position regarding Honduras is either hypocritical or a sloppy one.  Either way, it is a very irresponsible position.  Forcing Zelaya’s return will not solve the crisis but make it worse, immersing Honduras in a vicious cycle of violence.

In summary, the international community at large seems to ignore what the Honduran Constitution actually says.  Obviously, the only thing that matters to them, in addition to their geopolitical and economic interests of course, is that the ouster of President Zelaya looked like a coup.  And they have stubbornly refused to hear otherwise.

Nevertheless, I still hope that the international community will take a moment to actually read the Constitution of Honduras (or the Report for Congress), analyze better the situation, and reconsider their precipitous position regarding the crisis.

In my humble opinion, they should not call for an unconditional return to power of Zelaya but to face, first, an open and fair trial in Honduras, perhaps overseen by the international community to ensure credibility.  Only then, if acquitted, should Zelaya return to power.

In the same way, the Honduran military must face trial for sending Zelaya into exile, which violated article 102 of the Constitution.

Micheletti and other members of Congress should also be investigated and put on trial for the falsification of a letter of resignation supposedly signed by Mr. Zelaya, which was read and accepted by Congress immediately after Zelaya was ousted.

Making everyone involved in the crisis accountable before the Honduran Constitution and laws is what we all Hondurans want.  We have had enough impunity in Honduras.  It is time to start respecting the Constitution of Honduras, not only by Hondurans but also by the rest of the world.

Posted October 9, 2009 by jrargueta in Uncategorized

Cuidado con las negociaciones!   Leave a comment

Las negociaciones sobre la solución a la crisis política hondureña están en su apogeo.  Sin embargo, muchos de los actores extranjeros que se han auto-involucrado (y contribuido a empeorar esta crisis) buscan testarudamente lograr una solución política que salve su prestigio de mediadores, aun cuando esa solución violente nuestra constitución y leyes (ej. la irrisoria “restitución simbólica” de Zelaya).  Los negociadores hondureños no deben permitir esto.

Como ciudadano hondureño, quiero advertir a los hondureños involucrados en estas negociaciones que suscribir un acuerdo que violente nuestra constitución y leyes constituye una traición a la patria y que los que incurran en ese delito deberán, tarde o temprano, responder ante la justicia.

Los hondureños ya estamos hastiados de tanta impunidad y de tantas negociaciones y acuerdos políticos, dizque para solucionar conflictos, pero que solo han servido para que los culpables de violar nuestras leyes eludan la justicia.   Nuestra historia esta llena de dichas “soluciones políticas” y este es el momento de decir ¡basta!  Es esa historia de impunidad la que ha hecho que Honduras tenga tantos problemas (sociales, económicos, y políticos) y que tenga tan poco respeto en el mundo.

El conflicto que ahora estamos viviendo los hondureños debe ser resuelto estrictamente en base a nuestra constitución y leyes, por muy imperfectas que estas sean.  Esas son nuestras leyes!  Solo respetando y haciendo cumplir nuestras leyes podremos solventar esta y futuras crisis y convertirnos en un país digno de respeto.  Ese debe ser el propósito de los negociadores hondureños, aun si eso requiriera llevar el caso a la CIJ.

En ningún momento los hondureños debemos aceptar una solución impuesta y basada en la terca noción que lo que sucedió fue un golpe de estado militar o en lo que los extranjeros crean que seria una mejor legislación, ya sea esta la de Estados Unidos, Venezuela, o la perfecta constitución Costarricense.  En caso contrario, deberíamos romper nuestra constitución y pedirle a los “genios” de la OEA que nos escriban una nueva, al gusto de Insulza.

Mi opinión, de nuevo, es que se juzgue, con supervisión internacional, a todos los involucrados en este conflicto: Zelaya, Micheletti, los Militares, etc..  Si Zelaya es encontrado inocente deberá ser restituido inmediatamente.  Pero si es encontrado culpable deberá pagar su falta.  De igual manera deben ser juzgados los responsables de enviarlo al exilio y los que hayan violado cualquier otra ley, incluyendo la falsificación de su carta de renuncia.  En ningún momento debe aceptarse que el delito de haber enviado a Zelaya al exilio se utilice como pretexto para exonerarlo de los delitos que el haya cometido.  Dos errores no hacen una corrección.

Aun así, los Estados Unidos y al resto del mundo tienen el poder de doblegar y forzar a Honduras a aceptar la solución que ellos prefieran.   Pero despreciar la constitución, leyes, y las cortes hondureñas no solo serian una violación de los principios de respeto a la soberanía de los países sino también constituiría un ejemplo único de arrogancia y falta de profesionalismo en la solución de conflictos domésticos. Ojala que esa arrogancia no continúe impidiéndoles ver el conflicto desde el ángulo de la legislación hondureña, ni reconocer y enmendar sus erradas posiciones.

El imperio de la ley es la única solución verdadera, no los caprichos de los susodichos mediadores.

Posted October 9, 2009 by jrargueta in Uncategorized