That military coup in Honduras

•?The Supreme Court, by a 15-0 vote, found that Mr. Zelaya had acted illegally by proceeding with an unconstitutional “referendum,” and it ordered the Armed Forces to arrest him. The military executed the arrest order of the Supreme Court because it was the appropriate agency to do so under Honduran law.

•?Eight of the 15 votes on the Supreme Court were cast by members of Mr. Zelaya’s own Liberal Party. Strange that the pro-Zelaya propagandists who talk about the rule of law forget to mention the unanimous Supreme Court decision with a majority from Mr. Zelaya’s own party. Thus, Mr. Zelaya’s arrest was at the instigation of Honduran’s constitutional and civilian authorities—not the military.

•?The Honduran Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of removing Mr. Zelaya. The vote included a majority of members of Mr. Zelaya’s Liberal Party.

•?Independent government and religious leaders and institutions—including the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the Administrative Law Tribunal, the independent Human Rights Ombudsman, four-out-of-five political parties, the two major presidential candidates of the Liberal and National Parties, and Honduras’s Catholic Cardinal—all agreed that Mr. Zelaya had acted illegally.

•?The constitution expressly states in Article 239 that any president who seeks to amend the constitution and extend his term is automatically disqualified and is no longer president. There is no express provision for an impeachment process in the Honduran constitution. But the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision affirmed that Mr. Zelaya was attempting to extend his term with his illegal referendum. Thus, at the time of his arrest he was no longer—as a matter of law, as far as the Supreme Court was concerned—president of Honduras.


•?I succeeded Mr. Zelaya under the Honduran constitution’s order of succession (our vice president had resigned before all of this began so that he could run for president). This is and has always been an entirely civilian government. The military was ordered by an entirely civilian Supreme Court to arrest Mr. Zelaya. His removal was ordered by an entirely civilian and elected Congress. To suggest that Mr. Zelaya was ousted by means of a military coup is demonstrably false.

Have to say that it sounds remarkably unlike a military coup actually.

7 thoughts on “That military coup in Honduras”

  1. Yes, but expelling Zelaya from the country by force in the early hours of the morning was a seriously bad move.

    It would have been better if he had just been escorted from the official presidential premises by a civilian police force.

  2. I don’t speak Spanish and I’m not a Honduran constitution scholar, but this chap has a rather different take on things:

    Neither the Supreme Court nor Congress had the power to remove him from office, although — interestingly enough — it appears he could have been detained and tried for criminal conduct by a special tribunal made up of Supreme Court justices.

  3. The reason he was kicked out was because if he had been merely taken to jail, he could have summoned a mob big enough to engage in some real violence to try to free him. A few hundred would have done a lot of damage. And his hardcore supporters are maybe 3 to 5 thousand. Taking him out of the country probably saved a lot of lives. He was quite the rabble rouser and had plenty of cash on hand to make it happen. About 7.5 million dollars were taken out IN CASH from the central bank by his cronies. His supporters in the border with Nicaragua are being paid, according to evidence that is surfacing. And yes most of us Hondurans are against the guy. Including the poor.

  4. Pingback: Honduras: A very unpopular coup « Left Outside

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