Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coup Rewards

Porfirio Lobo Sosa yesterday rewarded two generals who helped carry out the coup with control of two more government agencies. During the coup, Micheletti appointed retired general Nelson Wily Mejía to head Immigration. He recently retired from that post.

Lobo Sosa has appointed another active duty general to replace Mejia, Venancio Cervantes. Cervantes was, last February, widely held to be the likely successor to Romeo Vasquez Velasquez as supreme commander of the armed forces. In March, El Heraldo reported he was unhappy with being passed over for the position, and might be thinking of retiring. In his position, he controls the access of foreigners into Honduras, and the permission of Hondurans to travel outside their country. It was widely speculated in the Honduran press that Lobo Sosa, as a condition of general Mejia's retirement had agreed to appoint another general to the position, and this appointment seems to confirm it.

In addition, yesterday Lobo Sosa appointed general Manuel Enrique Cáceres to head the Honduran equivalent of the FAA. During the coup he was appointed as head of the investigation unit of the high command. An OAS memorandum on Security in the western hemisphere lists his participation in a 2001 basic seminar of the Council of Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) in Washington, D.C. as a military confidence and security building measure.

Unlike general Vasquez Velasquez, appointed by Lobo Sosa to head HONDUTEL, these two generals are still on active duty; they have not retired. This brings to three the number of government institutions back under military control after 27 years of civilian control.

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