Friday, November 11, 2016

Honduran Supreme Court defines CIDH ruling

The government of Honduras, specifically its Supreme Court, has chosen to willfully defy an order by the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights (CIDH in Spanish)  to reinstate the 3 Honduran justices dismissed because they did not support the 2009 coup in Honduras.

The CIDH found on 2015 that the government of Honduras willfully violated the rights of Adan Guillermo Lopez Lone, Tirza del Carmen Flores Lanza and Luis Chévez de la Rocha to due process, and ordered that they be reinstated to similar positions with full back pay.  In addition, the court ordered the government of Honduras to repay the legal expenses incurred by the Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL) and the Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia (ADJ).

On November 10, the last day the International Court gave Honduras to reinstate the justices with full back pay, the court tweeted:  "The monies ordered by the the CIDH to be paid complying with the sentence in the case of Lopez Lone and others versus Honduras has been consigned to a bank."  It also posted to its website a statement that said in part:

"The statement made to the beneficiaries we undertook to inform them of the decision of the Justice Branch that it was not possible to reincorporate them because in actuality there are no open positions which are equivalent to those that they held at the moment of their firing, nor with their salaries and benefits.  [This is] because the positions they held are now occupied according to the needs of the Executive branch by individuals who have developed a judicial career.  Adding to this is the lack of positions that fulfill the parameters stipulated in the sentence.  Taking into account all the foregoing, there's nothing else to do but look to the alternate solution, contemplated in paragraph 299 of the [CIDH] sentence, given the impossibility of re-employing them, to fix the additional indemnitization for each of them for a year after they were dismissed."

In so stating, the Honduran Supreme Court chose to avail itself of paragraph 299 of the order which says if they cannot be reinstated to similar positions, Honduras must pay each of them the equivalent of $150,000.  In doing so, CEJIL alleges the Supreme Court of Honduras lied.  They have, all this year, been appointing justices to similar ranked positions in courts within Honduras that at any time it could have reinstated these justices.  In fact, in the month of October alone CEJIL says they appointed 4 judges of similar rank and benefits to two of those dismissed unjustly, to courts in San Pedro Sula.  

The Honduran Supreme Court could have complied with the order, but chose instead to prevaricate and avail itself of a monetary solution, doing further harm to those it denied due process.  This speaks to the corruption that is this Supreme Court in Honduras.

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