Mexico: relations with Honduras normalized

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) announced on July 31 that the government of President Felipe Calder贸n Hinojosa was normalizing diplomatic relations with Honduras and that the Mexican ambassador, Tarcisio Navarrete, would return to Tegucigalpa in a few days to resume his functions. Mexico broke off relations with Honduras on June 29, 2009, one day after then-president Jos茅 Manuel (“Mel”) Zelaya Rosales was removed by a military coup d’茅tat.

The SRE cited a report by a High Level Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS) set up to analyze the situation. According to the Mexican government, the report “reflects significant advances” by the government of Honduran president Porfirio (“Pepe”) Lobo Sosa towards resolving problems created by the coup. Lobo won a clear majority in elections held on Nov. 29, but the process was widely questioned: the voting was organized by a de facto regime put in place by the coup, and the OAS refused to send observers. Many Hondurans boycotted the vote; elections officials gave contradictory turnout figures鈥攆rom 49% to 61.3%鈥攚hile opponents of the coup estimated that the turnout was just 30-40%.

Edmundo Hern谩ndez-Vela, a retired political science professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told the left-leaning Mexican daily La Jornada that the SRE’s decision set a bad precedent. “It’s obvious that the r茅gime [Lobo’s government] arose from the coup d’茅tat itself, not from a clean process,” Hern谩ndez-Vela said. “But Mexico, like many other countries, understands that the US looks on what happened in Honduras with great sympathy.” He noted that Mexican president Calder贸n had his own problems, since his election in 2006 “should be qualified as irregular, at the least.” Millions of Mexicans still reject Calder贸n’s official win over center-left coalition candidate Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador by very narrow margin. (La Jornada, Mexico, Aug. 1 )

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 1.

Mexico now joins the United States, Peru, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica in recognizing Honduras.

See our last posts on Mexico and Honduras.