Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Human Rights are not subject to political negotiation

The Committee of the Families of the Detained-Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH) celebrates the signing of the Cartegena de Indias Accord which permits the return of ex Constitutional President Manuel Zelaya Rosales to our country.

At the same time, COFADEH condemns the language of the oligarchy aligned with the coup in the text of the Accord which refers to human rights as a political instrument of “reconciliation,” evidence of their old practice of negotiation.

“While admitting that during the political crisis there have been people who consider that their human rights were violated, the Government of Honduras, through the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, commits to attend these denunciations in order to contribute to the reconciliation of Honduran society within a framework of verifiable guarantees (…) and awaits support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights” reads the official, signed text.

The terms utilized reflect doubts, ironies, intentions and evasions on the part of the same political–military elite that attempted to bury the memory of the forced disappearances during the 1980’s and sell a manipulative discourse regarding human rights violations to the international community.

At the beginning of the decade of the 90’s the same ex Presidents - Rafael Callejas, Ricardo Maduro and Carlos Flores, who audited the text of the Cartegena Accord – repeated the need to leave the past behind and to end the “dark night of disappearances”.

This was their way to escape their own responsibilities, some of them as participants in the Alliance for Progress in Honduras (APROH) that inspired and financed the repression against political and ideological dissidence at that time and which continues to hold us in grief.

We have no doubt that ex President Zelaya signed the Cartagena Accord in absolute good faith regarding the urgency of investigating human rights violations that have resulted since the coup d’état to the present, to repair damage caused to the victims and to punish those responsible.

However, we have nothing but doubts regarding those who support the coup, control the repressive forces and sustain a fragile state that fails to overthrow the enormous monster of impunity with legality and justice.

Our doubts are underscored by the fact that with this Accord, the regime imposes recognition of the “Ministry of Justice and Human Rights as the entity that will permit the national capacity to promote and protect human rights in Honduras.”

This Committee does not observe habits, practices or policies that indicate that this institution makes even the most minimal difference within the State regarding the government Human Rights Commission which is delegitimized as a result of its partiality regarding institutional violence against the population.

Nearby, five teachers sustain an indefinite hunger strike due to violations of their social and economic rights; hundreds of campesino families in the zone of Aguán are surrounded by legal and clandestine forces acting against their lives and lands; and an average of 16 violent deaths occur each day throughout the country, in total impunity.

Therefore, we exhort the population to continue to use services worthy of your trust and respect, to access justice at all levels, local and international, as the people of Honduras rebuild institutionality and the rule of law that has been lost.

For the crimes and those who commit them

Neither forgetting, nor forgiveness

Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 23 de mayo de 2011


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