Friday, April 16, 2010


The Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued its annual black list of countries that do not respect human rights. For the first time since 2006, a new country appears on the list, Honduras. The inclusion of Honduras is based on the report of the IACHR visit to the country last August. Chapter 4 of the report, which can be downloaded here, is an executive summary of the longer IACHR report on Human Rights and the Coup, issued in December, 2009. Compare that report with the rather sparse State Department report on Human Rights in Honduras.

The response in Honduras has been dismissive.Porfirio Lobo Sosa's newly minted Human Rights advisor, Ana Pineda, is quoted on Radio America's website as saying "this is not the time for Honduras to say whether it endorses the report of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights." She is reported to have said that the report of the IACHR, in general, reflects the problems of the country after the expulsion of Manuel Zelaya Rosales. In other words, she thinks this is old stuff.
"Now, Honduras is trying to take into account the recommendations of the IACHR and investigate specific cases of human rights violations."
Except querida Human Rights advisor, the Human Rights prosecutor, Sandra Ponce, has come forward recently to say that her office cannot investigate and file human rights cases because she has no budget to do so.

Apparently, the naming of Honduras to the list bothered President Lobo Sosa, who came out and said "Its not the policy of the state to violate human rights." He continued:
"The important thing for me is that it is not a state policy, I acknowledge that we have inherited a country with high crime and are doing our best ; there is no State policy of violating human rights."
State policy is not the issue, Mr. President, its are you prepared to stop the abuses that are undeniably being denounced daily. Denial is a step on the road to recovery, I'm told.

But moments ago the AP reported that Lobo Sosa had rejected the IACHR report. The same story quotes Human Rights Ombudsperson Ramón Custodio as calling the report "a form of manipulation with the goal of hurting Honduras. The IACHR has lost its ethics."

The Center for Justice and International Law told the UN that the Honduran government has taken no action to protect the majority 134 people named in IACHR demands for protective orders. It found this lack of action worrying.

At the same time, a motion introduced by the representatives of the UD party in the National Congress to replace Human Rights Ombudsperson Ramón Custodio Lopez because he has not properly carried out his functions was defeated by a 122-6 vote. La Tribuna calls this a "unanimous rejection" bringing new meaning to the word "unanimous". Lobo Sosa said that this is not the time for such a motion, rather that it is the time for reconciliation.


Tambopaxi said...

If Lobo Sosa is truly interested in reconciliation, I'd suggest that he put every cop available to arrest the murderous thugs who are busy killing media people in Honduras (and the dozens of other, non-media Hondurans who are being killed each week).

As well, someone in Congress or various human rights groups should go after the Sosa government and ask them to identify the intellectual (if not, actual) authors behind the crimes and demand that they be brought to justice.

At this point, I have not sense that the Lobo government is able - and perhaps - is unwilling to control the violence that's going on in Honduras.

To be fair to Lobo and his colleagues, it's not like these problems arose overnight (nor since the events of June, 2009, for that matter), but the media killings just since January have taken a real jump, which makes me suspicious, frankly, of Lobo y cia, so it's incumbent upon him to take effective actions to bring the murderers to justice...

Boehmaya said...

Tambopaxi, we are talking here about a government who was previously the President of the National Congress, during the Maduro time, and who based his presidential campaign (against Zelaya, Lobo being at the same time the president of Congress, which is antidemocratic and inconstitutional)in demagogue speech such as implementing the death penalty.

During the Maduro-Lobo office, criminality levels reached a peak never seen before, so this is not strange, and less strange is the fact that Óscar Álvarez is also now , like back then, the Security Minister. The Maduro government was very controversial in terms of human rights and criminalizing youth. Over 1,600 minors were killed extralegally, without any proof, nor trial, that they were allegedly criminals. Casa Alianza reported that 2/3 of the kids killed by security forces, were extrajudicial executions.

The Nacionalista government reminds me a lot of Bush and his terrorist speech to maintain support of the sheeple to "protect" them, though in the case of the Hondurans, it seems to me that the security forces themselves are doing all the terrorism.

Now, the marero discourse to criminalize people is back.. You only need to read in a newspaper that the assassinated person had a tattoo or was a marero, or allegedly someone who was involved, and your death will be justified.