Thursday, June 23, 2011


The Minister of Human Rights and Justice, Ana Pineda, recommended against changing the Honduran constitution to allow detention of possible criminals for 72 hours rather than the 24 hours the constitution currently allows. This is the period of time Police can hold a suspect without bringing them before a judge. Pineda said the reforms
"contravene and consequently regress the enjoyment of rights and fundamental liberties of the Honduran population."

She notes that the proposal does not advance Honduras with respect to Honduran human rights, but rather is a backward step.

One hundred and twenty eight Congress members heard her arguments, then 108 of them, as Proceso Digital put it, "ignored it" and voted to approve the constitutional change, allowing 48 hours detention before being presented before a judge, and adds a new ruling a judge can issue that orders you held if there exists evidence you are the author or accomplice in a crime.

As we've noted since the appointment of this new cabinet position, the proof of its value is in the actions it can take, not the words that it says. Apparently she is powerless to affect the national discourse on human rights, which by her own admission, with this change, took a step backwards.

What can she do?

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