Monday, May 3, 2010

The business of the Truth Commission is business

What does it mean when the most accurate English language reports about the aftermath of the Honduran coup come from the business media?

Not for the first time, Bloomberg has a clear and accurate story, and it even includes new information: citing Foreign Minister Mario Canahuati, the economic impact of the coup was a reduction of 6.6 percent of gross domestic product, equivalent to $930.6 million.

Bloomberg also manages to actually cite a Honduran against the coup without describing him inaccurately as a "leftist", a "Zelaya supporter", or any of the other terms used to diminish the authority of those opposed to the Lobo Sosa administration and to the international movement to artificially impose closure on Honduran society:
Coup opponents such as Andres Pavon, head of the Honduran Human Rights Defense Committee, say they fear the truth commission, headed by former Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein, isn’t qualified and will whitewash the coup.

This is the crux of the matter. And it does matter: to the extent that a major constituency in Honduras sees the "truth commission" as illegitimate, it cannot be successful in bridging polarization among Hondurans.

But then, that is not what the commission is for: Bloomberg reports that Canahuati hopes it will help the country return to the Organization of American States and reduce investor concerns over political instability:
"We want to do what we can to leave behind the shock to our economy... Our intention is to have friends and alliances.”

Which is a far cry from working through the internal fractures exacerbated by the coup and the de facto regime, which were not healed by the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo Sosa.

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