Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Honduras: The Supreme Court's case Part 2

Commenters alerted me to the fact that the Honduran Supreme Court documents related to Zelaya's overthrow are now online at the Court's website as PDFs. Three main points jump out immediately.

First, opposition leaders have been saying constantly that Zelaya was overthrown because he wanted to change the constitution to allow re-election, which would be illegal. But in fact, the argument hinges primarily on the fact that other bodies, not the executive, are supposed to approve any such vote. Therefore Zelaya broke the law when he ordered government institutions to participate.

However, pages 39-40 do very briefly make the argument that "the fact of convoking a constitutive National Assembly is evidence of trying to abolish the current Constitution." By extension, the forbidden article would necessarily be reformed, which is illegal. I am not a lawyer, but I found this curious, because the vote did not convoke any commission (and by its wording, had no power to do so). Perhaps convoking it would be illegal, but it was never convoked.

Nonetheless, I cannot find anywhere in the documents any accusation regarding Zelaya's intent to seek re-election.

Second, I laughed at page 49, which instructed the military to detain Zelaya because he was a threat to flee ("existiendo un peligro de Fuga").

Third, there are over 70 pages of documents, sometimes in dense legalese, thought through by opposition lawyers and officially stamped all over the place. Yet Zelaya was never allowed to defend himself from the charges they contained.


leftside 12:46 PM  

Thanks Greg.

I have never been able to get those Court documents to load. But it seems that what I have been reading has been confirmed by you. If so, it is a massive weak link in the Court decision. For the opposition to be going around telling the world this is related to Zelaya's supposed plans for re-election just shows how desperate they are because of the weakness of their legal arguments for Zelaya's removal from office. Hence the fake resignation letter...

Otto 1:21 AM  

I find the timing of finding these documents online now interesting, with the Arias dialogue (neither side dare say "the other 'n' word"...negotiation) now in play.

This and a couple of other nudges in the direction of Zelaya by the judiciary, police and a few parliamentarians give the impression of a quiet counterputsch going on against Micheletti amongst the Honduran hoi polloi.

Greg Weeks 7:55 AM  

I saw them more as a PR effort by the Supreme Court, both to make its legal case known and to show they were not responsible for the military's actions (i.e. forced exile).

David Sketchley 8:41 AM  


I have just finished a 6 day e-mail exchange with Juan Carlos Hidalgo, project coordinator for Latin America at the Orwellian sounding Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute. (I have e-mailed you the exchange for your information and because its really too long to paraphrase here.) He's had the formal arrest warrant and court documents on his site since 02 July!

He's proved to me he's a complete 'farsante'.

leftside 7:16 PM  

The silence on this huge point from the anti-Zelaya folks is deafening...

Anonymous,  1:17 AM  

I have e-mailed you the exchange for your information thanks to you ....


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