Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Top Honduran army lawyer admits coup was illegal

Posted by Charles II on July 3, 2009

Frances Robles, Miami Herald:

The military officers who rushed deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya out of the country Sunday committed a crime but will be exonerated for saving the country from mob violence, the army’s top lawyer said.

In an interview with The Miami Herald and El Salvador’s, army attorney Col. Herberth Bayardo Inestroza acknowledged that top military brass made the call to forcibly remove Zelaya — and they circumvented laws when they did it.

Apparently the Defense Minister up to Jun 26th (who resigned so as to not participate in the coup), Ángel Edmundo Orellana Mercado, has also stated that the coup was illegal.

I’m sorry folks, but unless you read foreign languages and are willing to read foreign sites, our media will lie to you and you won’t have the slightest clue. Sadly, that’s how Americans were convinced that they were on the side of the good guys for the roughly 70 foreign interventions and countless proxy wars and assassinations this country has engaged in since World War II.

Have you forgotten the illegal invasion of Iraq, and how so many otherwise decent people lined up for it, already?
Added: I was reading the Honduran Constitution, and came across this amusing point:

Article I.3: No one owes obedience to a usurpatory government or to those who assume public jobs or functions by force of arms or using means or procedures which may break or fail to recognize that which the Constitution and the laws establish.

No irony there, no.

9 Responses to “Top Honduran army lawyer admits coup was illegal”

  1. That reminds me that a friend was sending the following around in response to a WaPo editorial by a known fan of right-wing dictatorships:

    The UN General Assembly disagrees with the WaPo and Schumacher-Matos:

    The WaPo, in keeping with their conservative corporate line (note that they finally got rid of Dan Froomkin, one of the few decent reporters that they still had), backs this coup just like they backed the right-wing oligarchic efforts to take out Chavez in 2002:

    Edward Schumacher-Matos is known for attacking anyone who does anything that inconveniences the rich and assists the poor (like Chavez, who manages to stay in power no matter how loudly Matos pronounces his doom), but loooooooves murderous right-wingers like Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe:

    The “unconstitutional” line the pro-coup people push is a dodge. The vote that Micheletti and his coup plotters shut down was a non-binding poll to determine support for a possible constitution. The coup leaders feared the results of that poll, so they moved to pre-empt it.

    Oh, and if Micheletti’s such a fan of democracy, why did he install his nephew as mayor of Honduras’ second-largest city, without benefit of election? (His nephew came in a distant third in the mayoral elections for that city a few months ago.)

  2. What you said is exactly what I said before, that the deportation was probably illegal, but that does not mean the arrest was improper. You’re certainly right that he should be returned to face charges.

  3. Keep forgetting to logout of my blog before I comment here. :)

    Anyhow, PW and Charles, there is evidently a constitutional provision in Honduras that prohibits even the seeking of continuismo. The Honduran SC ruled that this provision was violated by the attempt to amend the constitution, even by non-binding poll, because if Zelaya were to succeed in getting such a poll which favored amendment granting him an additional term, it would be politically difficult to prevent such amendment from being made. This is absolutely forbidden, and removal from office may be required and appropriate.

  4. Charles II said

    Mahakal/Mike, again, you’re incorrect. I answered this on the previous thread:

    That’s not correct, Mahakal. The coupistas have been very assiduous in generating a false story that the vote Zelaya was trying to hold was to extend his own presidency. That is, as I said, false. He was trying to have a vote to hold a Constitutional Convention to re-write the Constitution.

    Now, conceivably the Convention would have eliminated the provision that prohibits re-election… but it would have occurred after the presidential election. He would not have been continuing in power under any circumstances.

    The best English language link I can provide is here. There are better links in Spanish, but I have already provided them below.

    Added: The OAS has ruled that the removal from office was unconstitutional. They don’t do stuff like this casually, because the member states know that it could be used against them. Also, the UN has declared that the process was unconstitutional. Naturally, these determinations aren’t final until there has been due process, but the same can be said of of the decision to remove Zelaya. Since he was unable to present a defense of his actions, it simply doesn’t meet the standards of international law (”Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful. “).

    I really do make efforts to be sure that what I am saying is substantiated.

  5. I have replied on that thread. I do not doubt you have sources. That does not mean that I must agree with your interpretation of what is going on.

  6. Charles II said

    You have no obligation to believe anything or anyone; indeed, in political matters, one should proceed from reason and not belief.

    But why don’t you demand the same level of proof from the people who have persuaded you that Zelaya was trying to become a dictator: when did he state this? What associate of his has come forward to say this is what he planned? Most important, why does the story that he was trying to succeed himself fail to gibe with the inarguable fact that the vote for the Constitutional Convention was scheduled to be on the November ballot– in other words, that Zelaya could not have run for president in November?

    Certainly I have sources, but they aren’t secret. I am simply applying common sense and asking whose story holds together. This is what being an analyst is about.

    Right now, Honduras is under martial law. Constitutional liberties have been suspended. Who needs to do that sort of thing? Leaders who have the support of the people, or dictators?

  7. Charles, you shouldn’t presume that I don’t ask questions and seek answers, nor do I claim to have all of them. It is not necessary for a person to say, “I wish to be a dictator” for his actions to violate the constitution.

  8. Charles II said

    Mike, what I assume is that if you had any real evidence, you’d present it. After many, many posts, you have presented no evidence, apart from a Wall Street Journal article (the actual source of a statement in Wikipedia) written by a guy who makes his own biases rather clear.

    I don’t think that it’s a great conclusory leap to “presume” (as you put it) that an intelligent fellow with no obvious conflicts of interest who does not recognize the rather obvious flaws in the narrative he is supporting has not asked the questions that that narrative begs.

    Just, please, answer the question of why the story that Zelaya was trying to succeed himself fail to gibe with the inarguable fact that the vote for the Constitutional Convention was scheduled to be on the November ballot– in other words, that Zelaya could not have run for president in November (and therefore could not have been seeking to succeed himself)?

  9. I quoted Wikipedia, not the WSJ. There’s a lot more in that article than what I excerpted, with many other sources. I think that a productive exchange could be had on the Wikipedia Talk page if you think the current sourcing needs improvement. Your arguments are irrelevant to whether Zelaya was lawless in disregarding the Supreme Court, ordering the military to defy court orders, firing officers who refused to violate their orders, and seeking to carry out his “non-binding” ballot in defiance of the constitution and laws. But if that’s okay with you, then I guess there’s not much to debate.

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