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View Diary: Honduras' Coup Congress Cancels Five Basic Liberties (331 comments)

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  •  Honduran jurist dismisses coup's legal claims (18+ / 0-)

    The following article appeared in the Honduran newspaper La Tribuna.  

    First the original (excerpted) in Spanish followed by my own hasty translation.

    Acción no fue Constitucional

    La Tribuna | 1 julio 2009

    TEGUCIGALPA.- La remoción del presidente Manuel Zelaya Rosales fue un golpe de Estado militar que debe ser corregido comenzando con la restitución del mandatario y abriendo un diálogo para propiciar las elecciones generales del 29 de noviembre, expuso el jurista nacional Rodil Rivera Rodil.

    "Primero quiero hablar como abogado con todo respeto a mis colegas independientemente que su opinión discrepe con la mía. Absolutamente persuadido de lo que estoy diciendo, la remoción y el apresamiento del presidente Zelaya es un golpe de Estado militar", dijo.

    "Se quitó un Poder del Estado, cual es el Ejecutivo, sin la continuidad que demanda el trámite constitucional para que el legítimo sucesor esté conforme a la Constitución.

    Agregó que "en el Congreso se pretendió darle legalidad al golpe aceptando una renuncia que obviamente era falsa y luego se le destituye lo cual implica contradicción. Por otro lado, el Congreso Nacional no está facultado para improbar su conducta política ni administrativa, por lo tanto, el Congreso Nacional fue cómplice del golpe de Estado militar".

    Por otra parte, dijo Rivera Rodil, la acusación contra el presidente Zelaya de violar la Constitución en mi opinión jurídica es incorrecta porque él sí podía hacer la encuesta conforme al artículo 5 de la Ley de Participación Ciudadana en el que se establece además que no es vinculante como en el caso del plebiscito y el referéndum.

    A criterio del jurista, el juez declaró ilegal la consulta por coacción. "Soy abogado de 40 años de ejercicio profesional y sé cómo funciona la coacción, la presión pública, la del Congreso en los jueces. Eso es espurio, ilegal presionar a una juez, estoy seguro que una corte internacional en un ambiente de libertad reconocerá la encuesta".

    Rivera Rodil se declaró en contra de los golpes de Estado y en esta ocasión dijo estar dispuesto a luchar con las armas para defender el Estado de Derecho como lo hice 50 años, 12 de junio de 1959 cuando el coronel Armando Velásquez Cerrato quiso derrocar al gobierno de Ramón Villeda Morales.

    Igualmente, expuso que el Ministerio Público no tiene atribuciones para configurar los delitos que le imputa al presidente Zelaya relacionados a la encuesta y "estoy seguro de que todas las acciones que tomaron, sea que los presionaron, son ilegales".

    Here is a rough, quick, partial translation, by me, all errors mine, corrections welcome.

    Action Was Not Constitutional

    TEGUCIGALPA -- The removal of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales was a military coup d'etat that should be corrected beginning with the restitution of the mandated leader and opening a dialog to move forward with the general election of 29 November, explained the Honduran jurist Rodil Rivera Rodil.

    "First I want to say as an attorney with all due respect to my colleagues independently that their opinion clashes with mine.  Absolutely convinced of what I am saying, the removal and the expulsion of President Zelaya is a military coup d'Etat," he said.

    "They removed the Head of State, which is the Executive, without the continuity that is demanded by Constitutional authority which is that the legitimate successor be in conformity to the Constitution."

    He added that in the Congress they attempted to legalize the coup by accepting a resignation that was obviously false and then by imposing destitution upon him they implied a contradiction.  On the other hand, the National Congress has not been enabled to improve its conduct, and thus, the National Congress was an accomplice in a military coup d'etat.

    On another aspect, said Rivera Rodil, the accusation agaist President Zelaya of violating the Constitution in my legal opinion is incorrect because, yes, he could carry out the poll in conformance with Article 5 of the Law of Citizen Participation in which it is furthermore established that [there is no legal binding?] in the case of the plesbiscite and the referendum.

    In the jurist's opinion, the judge who declared [Zelaya's] poll illegal acted under duress.  "I have been a practicing lawyer for 40 years and this is how duress / pressure functions -- public pressure, that of Congress and [other] judges.  This is spurious, to so illegally pressure a judge, I am sure that an international court in an environment of liberty would recognize [the legality of Zelaya's] poll."

    •  While I agree with the good lawyer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08

      that the military's action was a coup, I still insist that the Honduran Constitution implicitly permits military coups.  So I disagree with his premise that the coup was unconstitutional.

      The Constitution is illegitimate, though I can understand a Honduran lawyer might not want to make that claim.

      His argument about the constitutionality of the proposed plebiscite, though, I believe is fully accurate.  The courts had previously ruled Article 5 of the Citizen Participation Law was constitutional, and Sunday's plebiscite was clearly identified as a Survey of Public Opinion.

      The charges against Zelaya were trumped up.

      Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

      by litho on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 04:29:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very possible (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        litho, lotlizard, h bridges

        But in this case the point was to present a Honduran legal analysis which departed from that of coup endorsements, and even given the limited nature of Honduran civilian government, the author argued against the constitutionality of this particular coup d'etat.  (Note that he did not make a general claim about any general military involvement, but this particular intervention.)

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