Saturday, July 4, 2009

Letter from Honduran Social Movements to Insulza [Secretary-General for Organization of American States]

Tegucigalpa, Honduras, July 3rd, 2009

His Excellency
Mr. Secretary-General of the Organization of American States Don José Miguel Insulza

The below-signed organizations representing the popular and social movement of the country, in relation to the coup d'etat and the breaking of the constitutional order executed by the Liberal, National, Christian Democratic and Innovation and Social Democratic Unity parties and the Armed Forces of Honduras, who are the instruments of the national oligarchy, inform the Organization of American States through you as the Secretary General of said international organization, our official position:


FIRST: On the twenty-eighth of June of 2009 an opinion poll was going to be conducted by the National Institute of Statistics, convoked by the Executive Power to know the opinion of the people in relation of installing or not installing a fourth ballot box in the general elections of the 29th of November of the present year, where they would be asked if they agreed or not to convoke a National Constitutional Assembly whose draft decree if the poll was affirmative, would be sent to the National Congress so that it could vote on whether or not to install it.

Prior to doing the aforementioned opinion poll and at the root of it a conflict developed between the National Congress and the Executive Power, in which the National Congress made manifest its position that it would not take place because it considered it illegal. The Executive Power continued to promote it and announced it would take place the 28th of June, protected by the Citizens Participation Law.

Before the firm decision of the Executive Power to carry out said poll, the National Congress through the institutions whose authorities are elected by said State power - the State Prosecutor, The Supreme Court of Justice, the Attorney General of the Republic, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal - began the following legal actions:

1. The State Prosecutor presented a demand before the Judge of Administrative Disputes against the popular consultation that the executive power had initially promoted, asking for an injunction suspending the claimed violations

2. The Attorney General of the Republic, despite being the representative of the executive power, at the moment of response to the injunction asked for by the plaintiff, adhered to the proposal of the Public Ministry

3. The Supreme Court of Justice through the above-cited judge declared the illegality of the consultation and ordered the confiscation of all the materials related with it.

4. The legal actions against the consultation were taken before the publishing of the Executive Decree that legitimated the consultation, nonetheless the Supreme Court of Justice through the administrative disputes process, rejected the popular consultation, without having exhausted the various juridical processes.

After the Executive Power announced the decree of the public poll based on the law of citizen's participation, having as a consequence that that same day (the 28th of June, 2009) at 5:10 a.m., approximately one hundred (100) members of the Armed Forces of Honduras, violating the domicile of Mr. Constitutional President of the Republic José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, deprived him of his liberty, causing damages to the property, taking him out by force in his pajamas, violently moved him to a still-unknown military base, in order to then expatriate him through airplane to San José, Costa Rica, making concrete the fracture of the democratic institutions of our country.

As part of the plan of eruption of constitutional order, the National Congress that ordinarily meets from Tuesday to Thursday, this time had session the same Sunday in which the President of the Republic was expatriated; and in said session was resolved the dismissal of the title of the Executive Power and Roberto Micheletti Bain was named as successor. It is important to note, that the majority of the congressman are from the interior of the country and the weekends normally go back to their places of origin; nonetheless at that extraordinary session there was massive presence of congresspeople, from which can be inferred that said activity was part of the coup plot that has been imposed.

SECOND: As a consequence of this act, our individual rights are being systematically violated, through arbitrary restrictions to personal liberty, the closure of independent media, violation of free speech, repression of the protests of citizens that have been declared in civil disobedience accordance with article 3 of the Constitution; in this vein the de facto government has officially declared the generalized limitation of guarantees, through the declaration of the state of exception, outside the provisions of article 187 of the Constitution of the Republic, article 4 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and Article 27 of the Inter-American Convention of Human Rights. Being that the Coup d'etat, as part of the plan, has been backed by the leadership of all the institutions, among which are those of the system of administrative justice; no legal recourse is therefor effective in neutralizing the excesses of the usurping government, a situation that results in an absolute lack of legal protection for the citizenry.

THIRD: The Constitution of the Republic of Honduras, establishes that in order to definitively substitute the President of the Republic, his complete lack is absolutely required (Article 242 ); which may be understood within the complete lacks such as; his death or disqualification por judicially determined legal reasons; this last, which appears to be the argument of the coup plotters, is so fragile that it fades in the logic of the democratic institutions of a legal order like the Honduran; It is worth it to emphasize that up to this date, there is no conviction against the president of the Republic, dictated through a juridical organ that impedes the exercise of his political and citizenship rights. On the grounds of the prohibition of prejudice that exists in favor of any citizen, in this case of the Honduran President, there are the protections of the guarantees of defense, due process, and in general the principle of legality in its many manifestations; these principles that are the indispensable foundation for the democratic legitimacy of any State, have been deliberately overlooked by those who through the path of force have over-ridden the constitutional order and on that foundation rests its illegitimacy.

We resoundingly point out that our constitution does not consider any means for the President of the Republic to be dismissed by the National Congress. Constitutional Article 205 clearly establishes the attributes of the National Congress, nonetheless none of them grants authorization to Dismiss the President, actually the National Congress in accordance with article 4 of the Constitution, is just one more power, in relation to the Executive Power and the Judicial Power and these three powers in accordance with the cited norm, are complementary and independent and WITHOUT RELATIONS OF SUBORDINATION.

FOURTH: Many of the organizations that sign this document are not followers or defenders of President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, much less part of the political institution to which he belongs. We are moved by the respect for a legal framework that, although it does not favor us as a majority population, up till now is the base of the minimum agreements of the society, on top of which conflicts develop and are resolved in the life of Hondurans, and its modification will be possible only through the people exercising their sovereignty and founding a new social pact based on inclusion and not discrimination, which is the desire of the signers.

FIFTH: As agreed by the United Nations, the Organization of American States and other international organizations, as an organized sector of the country, we confirm that in Honduras the constitutional order has been altered, putting the fragile democracy in which we have lived during the last 28 years in a fragile state, as set forth in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in section IV of the strengthening and preservation of democratic institutions articles 17 to 22.

SIXTH: We confirm that the vain efforts effected by the usurping government to present its criminal proceedings as a normal substitution of power; is written in a scenario in which four of the five benches of the National Congress of the Republic, the Armed Forces, the State Prosecutor of the Republic, the Supreme Court of Justice, the Public Ministry, the National Commission on Human Rights through their highest levels end up as authors of this swipe at the democratic constitutional order of Honduras, a fact for which they also have created alliances with strategic personalities of the religious sector of the country. This is why atypically the people who are formally conducting the coup government are not military, nor was the dissolution of the judicial power and the National Congress necessary; surely the usurpers of the Honduran constitutional order patented the most modern conception of coup d'etats; which earns and deserves the same repudiation from us as a national community and from you as an international community.

Mr. Secretary-General, given this background and argument regarding the situation in our country, we concretely express:

1.- We salute and recognize the measures that were immediately resolved by the Organization of American States, in order to achieve respect for the rule of law in Honduras.

2.- We value the determination of this maximum continental organization for having made the Inter-American Democratic Charter prevail, giving validity to the existence of the OEA.

3.- We confirm that as an organized society, in service of what is established in article 3 of our Constitution of the Republic, we have declared ourselves in civil disobedience and peaceful resistance until the constitutional order is re-established.

4.- We assure you that your visit to our country, despite the manipulation of the arbitrarily -constituted power, will allow you to verify in situ the precariousness of the democratic institutions and the legal defenselessness in which we the Honduran citizenry, and in particular those who with dignity confront the coup government, find ourselves.

5.-We confirm that any way out of the crisis lived by Hondurans involves the unavoidable application of penal justice to those who in this occasion have tainted the honor and the dignity of out homeland.

6.- We respectfully request that through your means, the Organization of American States ratify the necessary proceedings against the coup government including obliging it to restore the constitutional order, including the restoration of the arbitrarily dismissed President, as established by the United Nations.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras July 3rd, 2009.

Carlos H. Reyes
National Coordinator of Popular Resistance

Daniel Duron
General Workers Central

Víctor Antonio Fernández Guzmán
Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice

Israel Salinas
Unitary Confederation of Workers

José Hilario Espinoza Herrera
Confederation of Workers of Honduras

Dagoberto Suazo Zelaya
Coffee Cooperatives Central

Suyapa Martínez
Center for Women's Studies - Honduras

Rafael Alegría
Vía Campesina

Bertha Cáceres
Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras

Juan Barahona
Popular Block

Cornelio Chirinos
Coordinating Council of Peasant Organizations of Honduras

José Maldonado
National Peasant Confederation

Bertha Oliva
Committee of Family of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras

Andrés Pavón
Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras

Federation of Teachers Organizations of Honduras

Ramón Melgar
National Indigenous Organization of Honduras.

Gilda Rivera
Center for Women's Rights

Alba Maldonado
Honduran Association of Women

Valle de Sula Social Forum

Youth and Student Organizations of Honduras.

Afro-descendant Organizations

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