Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Zelaya to Correa: Proposal for a Route to Reconciliation

In a letter dated May 9 directed to Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa, former Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales took a step forward as an agent in the ongoing process of working out a way forward for Honduras.

Zelaya occupies a critical but ambiguous position in Honduran political struggle after the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa. Many members of the opposition were and continue to be inspired by the unprecedented number of steps taken to improve conditions for all Honduras by Zelaya's administration.

Yet the Frente de Resistencia cannot afford to be identified as solely supporters of Zelaya, a depiction used to dismiss their current political aims. Nor is that an accurate characterization of its membership, which includes skeptics about all traditional Honduran politics.

It is impossible even for skeptics to ignore the symbolic value Zelaya has achieved by virtue of having been forcibly expatriated in reaction to steps he had taken to challenge the system that benefits only a small proportion of Hondurans.

Zelaya cannot be ignored; but it has been unclear how he could build on the symbolic position he holds, and in particular, do so in a way that would be productive for the entire Honduran opposition.

With this letter, Zelaya has made his move to try to mobilize his symbolic stature and political experience to push for a voice for the victims of the coup in the face of the Truth Commission, whose legitimacy he challenges centrally.

Sr. President Rafael Correa: I address you with the goal that you will know the agenda that I have proposed for national reconciliation of the Honduran people and to contribute an acceptable peaceful solution for the people to the effect that it would include the recognition of Honduras in the international community.

I present you for your information the following proposal:


From an obligatory exile originated by the military coup d'Etat of the past 28th of June, that today is prolonged through the judicial persecution set loose against me for political purposes, added to the violations of human rights against the people, and considering the coherent and solidary position of UNASUR in defense of the Honduran people, I present to you a proposal that would permit the return of the Honduran state to the bosom of the international community and the national reconciliation of the Honduran people.

Allow us to highlight the following facts:
  • The Supreme Court of Justice absolved, with a final dismissal of charges, the military command, executor of the coup d'Etat and responsible for crimes against humanity
  • The National Congress decree an amnesty solely applicable to the authors of the coup d'Etat, leaving with impunity the most abominable crimes and violations of human rights committed against a defenseless population.
  • The Attorney General and the Supreme Court of Justice, co-authors of the coup d'Etat, executing actions of judicial persecution with political purposes against President Zelaya and his ministers, remain in their positions and enjoying impunity.
  • No organization, nor system of the international community, not the UN, nor the OAS, nor the Sistema de Integración Centroamericana (SICA), the Rio Group, among others, has repealed its resolutions and sanctions against the coup d'Etat since the circumstances that originated this deed, that has menaced our democracies, have not been overcome.
  • The "Truth Commission" has been put together in a unilateral manner and without consultation on the part of the government excluding us totally from the entire process, in a misunderstanding that we victims do not have the right to a voice nor representation. This puts us in position of helplessness in the face of the impunity of the executors of the military coup d'Etat.

It is due to the preceding that, very conscious of the position of the UNASUR group and of Ecuador, that occupies the Presidency pro tem, I pose for you the possibility of a political agreement to resolve the crisis derived from the military coup d'Etat, that might contemplate at least the following elements.

1. That the National Congress of Honduras should decree an amnesty, full and sufficient for the via judicial filed by the officials who together with the dictator Micheletti acted in the coup d'Etat and that today are found directing with impunity the institutions administering justice, venting their wrath against ex-President Zelaya and high officials of his government.

This agreement would guarantee the return to the country of ex-President Zelaya and others who today are found in exile, in the full enjoyment of their civil and political rights, a petition supported by the people and the Frente de Resistencia Popular for national reconciliation.

2. That there be given guarantees for the exercise of DEMOCRATIC LIBERTY in the country, that would permit there to be debate and to decide about the necessity for the establishment of participatory democracy and the right that society in Resistance against the coup d'Etat has to state an opinion, to have recognition as a belligerent force, and to demand a new Constitution.

3. To guarantee the end of repression and respect for human rights of all the citizenry, men and women, putting an end to crime, assassination, judicial persecution and repression on the part of the dependencies of the Police and Armed Forces.

4. To remove from their positions the principal people responsible for the civil-military coup d'Etat, that are found occupying the operative organizations of justice and ministerial positions.

5. That the integration of the citizen José Manuel Zelaya Rosales in the Central American parliament should proceed, a position that corresponds to him following his constitutional investiture and by his own right.

6. That an end be put to impunity for violations of human rights and that there be presented to the International Criminal Court the authors of the crimes against humanity that are already sued for those offences and that refused to appear in court. For example: the Attorney General refuses to proceed and to present himself to the international courts although knowing that Honduras is part of the International Criminal Court, and that the suits have been accepted by the CIDH and by the same Criminal Court.

I reaffirm to the government of Ecuador and to UNASUR our disposition to promote this political accord in SICA, CARICOM, the Rio Group, and ALBA, so that in the bosom of the next Assembly of the OAS this plan would be accepted and supported and that Honduras would obtain international recognition, and we all could commit ourselves to this agenda, prior to the development expected for such a great event.

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