Military vehicles with machine guns rolled through the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras as the Honduran military ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya yesterday, June 28. This marks the first military coup in Honduras in thirty years and brings back ugly memories of darker times for democracy in Latin America.
LAWG partner organizations have issued the following statements:
Washington Office on Latin America : “WOLA condemns the coup carried out against President Zelaya of Honduras and is concerned about potential repression against civil society leaders. ‘This moment,’ [said Joy Olson, Executive Director of the Washington Office on Latin America,] ‘is a critical test of the Inter-American system, the Organization of American States, and its Democratic Charter. The countries of the region, including the United States, must work to encourage the return to democracy and the rule of law in Honduras.’”
Center for International Policy : “The Honduran military has been a heavy recipient of U.S. assistance for decades. A U.S. military unit, Joint Task Force Bravo, has been based at the Palmerola airbase in Honduras since the early 1980s. If the Honduran military persists in violating the country’s democratic order, U.S. military aid must halt and JTF-Bravo must leave.”
You can read their blog to follow the situation as it progresses.
School of the Americas Watch : “An unknown number of Hondurans have taken to the streets today in an effort to stop the coup that the military, in league with Congress and the Supreme Court, has carried out against democratically elected President Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya.”
The U.S. State Department and the OAS have issued statements condemning the coup:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton : “The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.”
Organization of American States : “The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted Sunday a resolution strongly condemning the coup d’Etat in Honduras and demanded the immediate and unconditional return of President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales to his constitutional duties.”