Because our Honduras discussions in coming days will probably revolve around what is or is not in the accord signed Thursday night by Micheletti’s and Zelaya’s negotiators, I decided to translate it for this community. The quality of our discussions about Honduras is generally very high, because so many people have tried to keep themselves informed. Non-Spanish speakers will need a good translation to be able to participate. I couldn’t find one in English, beyond brief summaries of each point, and even if a translation existed, it would probably have been too flawed for our uses, so I’ll offer this one. There’s a good diary from betson08 from yesterday with international reaction to the accord.
Feel free to offer suggestions or question something you think may have been mistranslated. As Assistant Secretary Thomas Shannon has noted, the trickiest of these accords to implement will be number 5, regarding Zelaya’s restitution. Incidentally, it is also the vaguest point and the hardest to translate. Read through it if you want, or bookmark it for future reference. (Link to Spanish original.)
I am aware of red flags being raised over some statements made subsequent to the signing and have saved a number of them, including a statement by Lanny Davis and others by Micheletti’s negotiators. I would like to give the Hondurans time to work this out before accusing anyone of bad faith. President Zelaya has said he believes restitution will take a week and it seems fair to wait that long, or until it appears there’s a deadlock. I would like to assume good faith on everyone’s part, even though things aren’t looking so good right now on the Lanny Davis/Micheletti side.
Tegucigalpa/San José Accord
for national reconciliation
and the strengthening of democracy in Honduras
We, Honduran citizens, men and women, convinced of the need to strengthen the rule of law, protect our Constitution and the laws of our Republic, deepen democracy and ensure a climate of peace and tranquility for our people, have carried out an intense and frank process of political dialogue to seek a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis in which our country has been submerged in recent months.
As the result of this dialogue, in which the common sense, tolerance and patriotic spirit of all participants have prevailed, we have drawn up a political Accord that will allow civic coexistence to be reestablished and ensure a suitable climate for democratic governability in our country. This Accord, we are certain, will mark the road toward the peace, reconciliation and democracy Honduran society urgently requires.
The acceptance of this Accord demonstrates, yet again, that Hondurans are capable of successfully conducting a dialogue and, through it and by it, achieving the high goals set by our society and demanded by our country.
Pursuant to the preceding, we have agreed to the following accords.
(1) Regarding the National Unity and Reconciliation Government
To achieve reconciliation and strengthen democracy, we will form a National Unity and Reconciliation Government composed of representatives from various political parties and social organizations, recognized for their capacity, integrity, competence and willingness to dialogue, who will fill the different Secretariats, Sub-secretariats and other agencies of the State, in conformance with Article 246 and succeeding articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras.
In view of the fact that, prior to June 28, the Executive Branch had not sent the National Congress a draft of the General Budget for Revenue and Disbursement, as established in Article 205, Subsection 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras, this National Unity and Reconciliation Government will respect the General Budget recently approved by the National Congress for fiscal year 2009 and will operate on its basis.
(2) Regarding Renunciation of a Call for a National Constituent Assembly and Amending the Unamendable Articles of the Constitution
To achieve reconciliation and strengthen democracy, we reiterate our respect for the Constitution and the laws of our country, abstaining from calls for a National Constituent Assembly, either directly or indirectly, and also renouncing the promotion or support of any public consultation for the purpose of reforming the Constitution to permit presidential reelection, modify the form of Government or contravene any of the unamendable articles in our Founding Charter [constitution].
In particular, we will not make public statements or exercise any sort of influence inconsistent with Articles 5, 239, 373 and 374 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras and we will energetically reject any expression contrary to the spirit of said articles and the Special Law to Regulate Referendums and Plebiscites.
(3) Regarding General Elections and the Transfer of Government
To achieve reconciliation and strengthen democracy, we reiterate that in conformance with Articles 44 and 51 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras, suffrage is universal, obligatory, egalitarian, direct, free and secret, and it is the responsibility of the fully autonomous and independent Supreme Electoral Tribunal to supervise and administer every facet of electoral activities and processes.
Likewise, we call on the Honduran people to peacefully participate in the coming general election and to avoid any type of demonstrations that oppose the elections or their results, or promote insurrection, unlawful conduct, civil disobedience or other acts that could result in violent confrontations or transgressions of the law.
For the purpose of demonstrating the transparency and legitimacy of the electoral process, we urge the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to authorize and accredit the presence of international missions from now until the announcement of the general election results, as well as during the transfer of power that will occur, in accordance with Article 237 of the Constitution of the Republic, on January 27, 2010.
(4) Regarding the Armed Forces and the National Police
To achieve reconciliation and strengthen democracy, we affirm our willingness to comply, in all its terms and conditions, with Article 272 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras, in accordance with which the Armed Forces are placed at the disposition of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal from one month before the general elections for the purpose of guaranteeing the free exercise of suffrage, the custody, transport and surveillance of electoral materials and other security aspects of the process. We reaffirm the professional, apolitical, obedient and non-deliberative character of the Honduran Armed Forces. Likewise, we agree that the National Police should strictly abide by the terms of its special legislation.
(5) Regarding the Executive Power
To achieve reconciliation and strengthen democracy, in the spirit of the subjects of the proposal for the San José Accord, both negotiating commissions have respectfully decided that the National Congress, as an institutional expression of popular sovereignty, in use of its authority, in consultation with the entities it believes pertinent such as the Supreme Court of Justice and in accordance with the law, resolve the issue regarding "restoring possession of the Executive Power to its status prior to June 28 until conclusion the current governmental period on January 27, 2010."
The decision the National Congress adopts should establish a basis for achieving the social peace, political tranquility and democratic governability the society requires and the country needs.
(6) Regarding the Verification Commission and the Truth Commission
To achieve reconciliation and strengthen democracy, we stipulate the creation of a Verification Commission to verify commitments made under this Accord and those deriving from it, coordinated by the Organization of American States (OAS). Said Commission will be composed of two members of the international community and two members of the national community, the last two to be chosen, one each, by the parties [i.e., one by Micheletti and one by Zelaya].
The Verification Commission will be responsible for attesting to the strict compliance with all of the points of this Accord and will receive the full cooperation of Honduran public institutions for that effect.
The failure to comply with any of the commitments contained in this Accord, as verified and declared by the Verification Commission, will result in the activation of measures the Commission will establish for the transgressor or transgressors.
For the purpose of clarifying the events occurring before and after June 28, 2009, a Truth Commission will also be created to identify acts that led to the current situation and provide the people of Honduras with elements to avoid repetition of these events in the future.
This Dialogue Commission recommends that the next government, in the framework of a national consensus, constitute said Truth Commission in the first half of 2010.
(7) Regarding the Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Honduras and the International Community
On committing ourselves to faithfully comply with the commitments made in this Accord, we respectfully request the immediate revocation of those measures or sanctions adopted bilaterally or multilaterally that in any way affect the reinsertion and full participation of the Republic of Honduras in the international community, and its access to all forms of cooperation [aid].
We call on the international community to reactivate, as quickly as possible, the cooperation projects in effect with the Republic of Honduras and to continue the negotiation of future projects. We especially urge that, at the request of competent authorities, necessary and timely international cooperation be provided so that the Verification Commission and the future Truth Commission ensure faithful compliance and follow-through for the commitments made under this Accord.
(8) Final Dispositions
Any differences regarding interpretation or application of this Accord will be submitted to the Verification Commission, which will determine, in adherence to the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras and legislation in force, and through an authentic interpretation of the present Accord, the corresponding solution.
Taking into account that this Accord is the product of the understanding and fraternity of Hondurans, we vehemently request that the international community respect the sovereignty of the Republic of Honduras and fully observe the established principle in the United Nations charter of non-interference in the internal affairs of other States.
(9) Calendar for Compliance with the Accords
Given that this Accord takes immediate effect upon the date of its signing and for the purpose of clarifying the time for compliance and follow-through for the commitments made to achieve national reconciliation, we agree to the following calendar for compliance:
October 30, 2009
- Signing and entrance of the Accord into effect.
- Formal delivery of the Accord to Congress for the effects of Point 5, "Regarding the Executive Power."
November 2, 2009
- Formation of the Verification Commission.
After the signing of this Accord and no later than November 5
- Formation and installation of the National Unity and Reconciliation Government
January 27, 2010
- Celebration of the transfer of government.
First half of 2010
- Formation of the Truth Commission.
(10) Final Declaration
On behalf of reconciliation and the patriotic spirit that has brought us to the dialogue table, we commit ourselves to complying in good faith with this Accord and what derives from it.
The world is witness to this demonstration of unity and peace, to which we commit our civic conscience and patriotic devotion. Together, we will know how to demonstrate our courage and decision to strengthen the rule of law and build a tolerant, pluralistic and democratic society.
We sign this accord in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on October 30, 2009.
We take this opportunity to thank the International Community for its accompaniment and good offices, especially the Organization of American States and its Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza; the [diplomatic] Missions of Foreign Ministers in the Hemisphere; the President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sánchez; the Government of the United States, its President Barack Obama, and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
(12) Regarding the Tegucigalpa/San José Accord’s Entrance in Effect
For internal purposes, the Accord takes full effect upon signing.
For protocolary and ceremonial purposes, a public signing ceremony will be held on November 2.
Tegucigalpa, Municipio del Distrito Central, October 30, 2009
[Signed: Armando Aguilar Cruz, Vilma Cecilia Morales Montalván, Arturo Gerardo Corrales Alvarez, Victor Orlando Meza López, Mayra Janeth Mejía del Cid, Rodil Rivera Rodil]