Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Whitewash Commission

So today Pepe "reconciliation" Lobo and the rest of the golpistas unveiled their latest attempt to whitewash the coup. While the US, UN, and OAS were all holding hands and singing kumbaya, patting themselves on the back for a job well done...Honduran human rights organizations, and South American leaders were taking a stand. Bertha Oliva, head of the prominent rights organization COFADEH, wrote:

Now the Lobo government, in an effort to regain international legitimacy, is creating a Truth Commission, an initiative that is being applauded by the United States administration. Yet COFADEH and the other Honduran human rights defenders who have spent much of our lives calling for a truth commission to investigate past political violence are not applauding. We are protesting.

The fact is, Lobo's proposal in no way resembles our idea of a truth commission, or indeed any other truth commission that has played a role in healing the wounds provoked by repressive regimes, such as those of El Salvador, Argentina or South Africa. If we were not dealing with such a tragic situation, the Lobo proposal could be considered laughable.

To begin with, this so-called Truth Commission has been given no mandate to examine the human rights violations that have taken place since the coup. The presidential decree that establishes the commission does not even recognize that a coup took place on June 28th and makes no mention of the victims of the subsequent repression.

And that's certainly just the surface of it all. Honduras Culture and Politics notes that more so than truth, what it's really about is business; the coup cost Honduras a cool 6.6 percent of GDP. Not exactly disproving the theory, Rights Action reported a few days back that one of the members of the commission is a Canadian lawyer who also represents Canadian mining interests. If you remember, mining companies weren't exactly the biggest "Zelayistas".

Meanwhile, UNASUR was holding a meeting today, where among other things, several countries pledged not to attend the EU-Latin America & the Caribbean Summit in Madrid if Lobo is invited. A pretty clear stand against the US' position, also coming as the regional grouping picked their first Secretary General, Nestor Kirchner. In case you needed more evidence of the waning influence of the US in the region.

Oh and for good measure, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement today about a string of death threats against Honduran journalists...who happened to be reporting on the killings of other journalists...ya know, since there has been at least six of 'em murdered since good ol' Lobo took office...how's that for "reconciliation"?

(photo of May Day celebration in Honduras, via Quotha, via Mario Ardón Mejía...check it out)

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