The latest Coup d’Etat perpetrated in the early hours of December 12 in Honduras, when the National Congress voted to remove four Supreme Court justices, places front and center once again the dictatorship the country has experienced since June 28, 2009. The ultra-right of Honduras has been offering up to us for the last three years lessons on their cannibalistic practices.
The local reality is macabre: Honduras is considered the most violent country in the world with 92 assassination for each 100,000 inhabitants, and at the same time Honduras was the country most impacted by climate change between 1991 and 2010, and to add to these woes, is also the poorest country in the hemisphere. In the meantime, the elite in power is dedicated to the destruction of this weakened democracy to maintain their privilege at any cost.
Leading up to the action taken by the Congress which was pushed through by the majority from the nationalist party, the current “head of state” Pepe Lobo denounced a supposed Coup d’Etat cooked up by Jorge Canhuati Larach, owner of various media outlets that are members of the Inter American Press Society (SIP), which recently conferred to him (Jorge Canhuati) an honorific mention in the category of “Human Rights and service to the community.”
As with Canahuati Larach, along with Pepe Lobo and the illustrative crowd of representatives that demolished the Constitutional Court, they were all implicated in the Coup d’ Etat of 2009. Of course the Supreme Court participated fully in the gutting of democracy in 2009, which was categorized by the Library of Congress in the U.S. as a “Constitutional Succession.”
From Charter Cities to the Application of the Polygraph Test
The Constitutional Court came to be questioned, as with the rest of the Supreme Court, by the Executive and Legislative branches, after having declared unconstitutional the Ley of Special Development Regions (RED), alias Charter Cities, a project cut from neocolonial cloth, that was intended to auction off slices of Honduran territory to U.S. investors known as libertarians and ultra-right. Among other issues, the RED included transferring the application of justice to third parties, located on the island of Mauritius and finally the British Court of appeals.
The furious reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision on Charter Cities, by Pepe Lobo and his protegé Juan Orlando Hernández, President of the Congress and candidate picked to be the future president of Honduras, demonstrated that the independence of the branches of government in Honduras finds itself under attack.
The situation was worsened even more, when the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the Law of Purification of the Police, which included psycho-metric, socio-economic, toxicological and polygraph tests, with this last test being questioned as a method that violates national laws as well as international human rights treaties.
The collapse of the National Police, with its absolute corruption and association with organized crime has the country in a sorry state, living under the yoke of security organisms that are implicated in multiple assassinations and sales of weapon arsenals. The so-called “purification” of the police initiated about a year ago has not generated measureable results, and has aggravated the situation with the suspension of aid to the police by the U.S., surrounding evidence about Juan Carlos Bonilla, current director of the police, who was named in having participated in death squads from 1998 to 2002.
When the Constitutional Court voted four to one as to the unconstitutionality of the Law of Purification of Police, the same episode occurred as following the Charter City decision, where the judge Oscar Chinchilla took the side of the Legislative branch. Despite Chinchilla having said that the use of the polygraph test was a violation of fundamental rights, he did not vote for unconstitutionality emitted by the majority of the Court. Lacking a unanimous decision in the Constitutional Court, the plenary of the Supreme Court would meet to take a final decision. Just hours before the Supreme Court plenary was to meet to consider the matter, the National Congress removed the four magistrates who had voted against the law in the Constitutional Court.
From Electoral Fraud to the Suit Filed about the Vote Counts
Last November 18 the primary elections took place in Honduras, to choose the candidates for president, congress and mayors. As it is common knowledge, there was a shameful fraud committed, especially by the National Party, who are currently in power and have an absolute majority in the National Congress.
The two ultra-right candidates who ran for the highest positions of the National Party both claimed to have received the majority of the votes. Finally the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) declared as winner Juan Orlando Hernández, current president of the National Congress, despite the statements by the supposed loser, Ricardo Alvarez, who was early on leading in the vote count before the ¨system crashed¨, leaving him behind.
The same story of fraud was repeated in the other traditional party that took part in the elections, the liberals picked Mauricio Villeda Bermúdez, open admirer of the Colombian Alvaro Uribe and one of those integrated into the de facto government by dictator Roberto Micheletti. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal indicated that these political parties worked to inflate the vote at the voting stations, while Ricardo Alvarez said there were members of organized crime making threats at the polls.
The political conditions in which the primary elections took place in the country served as a perfect stew for the electoral fraud, in that way maintaining the gang of coup-backers who find themselves clinging to power. The famous Cartagena Agreement in the final analysis does not guarantee electoral transparency and much less strengthens the human rights of the Honduran people, who finds themselves subject to the violence of a feudal regime.
The gutting of the Constitutional Court of the Supreme Court is associated not only with their rejection of the Charter City law and the Law of Purification of the Police, but was also a strategy to derail in advance the claim presented by Ricardo Alvarez regarding the vote count, in the face of the evident fraud committed.
Of course, though the current boxing match is among groups of power associated with the ultra-right, this is still electoral fraud, and that it could be repeated next year during the presidential elections.
In Honduras the supposed liberal bourgeois democracy that exists is no more than a mask of a dictatorship of a small group of financiers, many of whom are associated with organized crime and protected by the empire, which is disposed to provide their blessing to those who would preserve the status quo.
The legislative coup against the Judiciary is openly associated with the recent electoral fraud and the impeding of the auctioning off of Honduras by means of Charter Cities, which by the way President Lobo has said he will implement anyway, if not during this term, then in the next one.
Sambo Creek, December 13, 2012
Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH