Breaking News: Deal Emerges in Honduran Coup Crisis

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and de facto Honduran leader Roberto Micheletti reached an agreement on Thursday that involves sharing power for the remaining of Zelaya’s term. More from Democracy Now!:

…Roberto Micheletti, said the agreement would create a power-sharing government and require both sides to recognise the result of the November 29th presidential elections. It would also create a truth commission to investigate the events of the past few months.

Micheletti and Zelaya held talks separately on Thursday with Tom Shannon, the US assistant secretary of state, and Dan Restrepo, Washington’s special assistant for Western Hemisphere affairs. As the negotiations were underway Thursday, a rally by hundreds of pro-Zelaya protesters in Tegucigalpa was broken up by police who fired tear gas.

A few questions still remain about the agreement — Congress has to approve the agreement and some experts are worried about continued bitterness from Zelaya supporters who do not want a power sharing government.

I think the most important part of the deal is that it establishes a Truth Commission to look into abuses (on both sides) committed during the civil unrest during the days of the coup. Though details of the commission are not laid out yet, it is a very important first step to ending this crisis appropriately.

What do you think of the deal?

Getting (even more) Scary in Honduras

If you’ve been keeping up with the news in Honduras, you know about the crackdown on protesters, crackdown on media outlets, and slow diplomatic talks.

Supporters of ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya sit in front of Honduran army soldiers, 3 July 2009  © AP/PA Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

Supporters of ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya sit in front of Honduran army soldiers, 3 July 2009 © AP/PA Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

You also might know it’s a pretty emotional issue for Hondurans, many of whom stand completely with Zelaya or the de facto government. Just read the comments on my last blog and you’ll get the idea.

But did you know about an executive decree that bans all public meetings and gives incredible power to police? Yep, it’s true. According to a new AI story:

Honduran de facto president Roberto Micheletti must rescind a decree that provides sweeping new powers of detention to the police, bans all public meetings and imposes a 45 day curfew, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

“Honduras risks spiralling into a state of lawlessness, where police and military act with no regard for human rights or the rule of law,” said Susan Lee, Americas Director at Amnesty International. Roberto Micheletti must urgently rescind the decree and send clear instructions to the security forces to respect human rights in all circumstances and at all times.”

Since AI ran this story, Micheletti has vowed to reverse the decree — but not surprisingly has been slow to follow through.

From the beginning of the crisis in Honduras, Amnesty International has tried to make sense of the issue through a human rights lens rather than taking political sides — calling out human rights violations and getting the word out about unlawful abuse and detentions. Even though Amnesty is producing thoughtful research and news stories about human rights abuses in Honduras, more has to be done.

With rumors of civil war among some social organization spreading and the diplomatic talks stalling, now is time for you to take action to help end this crisis and restore human rights to the Honduran people!