By Emile Schepers
Here are the most significant items to report:
1. MARTIAL LAW ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN. Honduran de facto coup president Roberto Micheletti announced martial law late Sunday, then the next day said he would drop the decree, now today seems to be going back the other way. The Supreme Electoral Council and others turn out to have pointed out to him that 45 days of martial law would end only a couple of weeks before the national elections scheduled for November 29. Now Micheletti has asked the Supreme Court if that is true or not. A quick glance at a pocket calender would tell him that it is in fact true and a little common sense would have told him that by decreeing martial law for 45 days he was showing the world that the elections will be a rigged farce, as everbody except coup supporters and his cheering section on the Republican benches in the U.S. Congress are stating rather loudly. During that time, only pro-coup parties could campaign, and anti-coup parties and candidates would be suppressed--in jail, in exile or just silenced. Also now that he has shut down all electronic media that were critical of the coup, only pro-coup, pro-oligarchy media will be functioning. Any child can see that an election carried out under such circumstances is a joke in bad taste. So unless he immediately drops this martial law decree he has really shot himself in the foot, and I suspect that the economic and political forces (Honduran and foreign) that are behind the coup will want to move him aside. He has no brain and is an embarrasment to them.
There are lots of rumors and theories about cracks and splits opening among the pro-coup, anti-Zelaya forces.
2. HOWEVER LET US BE CLEAR THAT REPRESSION CONTINUES. Let us understand that no matter what Micheletti blathers into a microphone, repression continues in Honduras. Today Susan Lee Adams, Americas Director at Amnesty International, issued a statement saying "Honduras risks spiralling into a state of lawlessness, where military and police act with no regard for human rights and the law". That has been what has been happening since the June 28 coup, with or without martial law. And even though the archbishop has supported the coup, today the Americas Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic religious order, reported after visiting from August 18 through 25 that there is brutal violation of human rights and the use of excessive force against pro-Zelaya people in Honduras, and asked the US Congress and administration to speak and act forcefully to stop this.
3. IN THE SAME VEIN, today police arrested more than 50 people who had been doing a sit-in at the Honduran Institution of Agricultural Reform. They were taken to the prosecutors office and some specific charges may be filed.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
By Emile Schepers