Honduras: coup regime admits deporting Zelaya was “error” —but repression goes on

Coup-installed Honduran President Roberto Micheletti for the first time admitted Aug. 17 that forcing the deposed President Manuel Zelaya to leave the country, instead of arresting him, was a mistake. “There was an error by a certain sector,” Micheletti said in an interview in Tegucigalpa. “It wasn’t correct. We have to punish whoever allowed that to happen. The rest was framed within what the constitution requires.” Micheletti nonetheless reiterated that the military was following the law in seizing Zelaya at his home early June 28. He also said that Honduras is now vulnerable to a military attack from its neighbors because the US has cut off military support. (Bloomberg, Aug. 17)

Human rights delegation dissed
A representative of the coup regime also said the government does not expect to be judged fairly by an Inter-American Human Rights Commission panel that arrived Aug. 17. De facto deputy foreign minister Martha Alvarado said the government expects a biased assessment from the panel because it is a branch of the Organization of American States, which has condemned the June 28 coup and is demanding Zelaya’s reinstatement. “We must be very careful not to have great expectation of their reports,” Alvarado said at a news conference. “We have great reservations.” (AP, Aug. 17)

National Front Against the Coup denounces repression
On Aug. 13, the National Front Against the Coup held a press conference in the Honduran capital to denounce growing violence and repression following two days of protests in Tegucigalpa. A simultaneous statement by international observers working with the National Front protested “multiple grave human rights violations perpetrated by state security forces such as the national police, police special forces (COBRA), and the national army… We are highly concerned for the rapid and accelerated deterioration of the human rights situation in the country and for the multiple people who are still detained.” They demanded that authorities release a list with the names of all of those being held, with information about their state of health.

The statements said more than two dozen are still being held and about half a dozen were still missing and feared disappeared following two days of protest in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. In both cities, numerous people were wounded in the police repression, some seriously. Congressional deputy Marvin Ponce of the Democratic Unification party, a member of the executive committee of the National Front Against the Coup, was among those beaten, and is now suffering from multiple fractures. (Latin American Information Agency, Aug. 17)

On the night of Aug. 11, one hour into a curfew that began at 10 PM, unknown individuals carried out a drive-by shooting, firing bullets at the office of Vía Campesina, located in the Alameda neighborhood of Tegucigalpa. “The act was a clear attack against our social organizations and leaders who are part of the National Front Against the Coup,” said a statement from the local chapter of the international peasant advocacy group. It noted that on July 26, a bomb went off in the building of the Beverage Workers Union (STIBYS), also part of the National Front Against the Coup. (Via Campesina, Aug. 12)

See our last post on Honduras.

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