January 22, 2010

UCD pronounces on the Lobo-Fernández agreement

Pepe Lobo and Leonel Fernández sign an accordPepe Lobo and Leonel Fernández sign an accord

The recent agreement signed by Honduran president-elect Porfirio (Pepe) Lobo with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández regarding the exit of former president Manuel Zelaya, his family, and "inner circle" can be found
here in Spanish. A Google translation of the document to English can be found here.

Honduras' Unión Cívica Democrática (UCD), a coalition of Honduran civic groups formed to defend democracy in Honduras, has analyzed the agreement and objects strongly to the terms which they believe violate the rule of law of Honduras. Additionally, UCD questions the legal authority of a president-elect to commit the country, as well as President Fernández' authority to represent the "international community". 

The following is my (unofficial) translation of the pronouncement issued by UCD. The original version of the UCD document in Spanish can be found here.


The Civic Democratic Union (UCD) is an organization composed of different groups of civil society, representative and committed to democratic values, peace, freedom, order and progress for Honduras and fundamentally united on the defense of the Constitution of the Republic, the rule of law and general welfare of the people.

The UCD, consistent with its patriotic commitments in relation to the contents of the document ''Agreement for National Reconciliation and Strengthening of Democracy in Honduras," also known as ''Reconciliation Act'' signed by Mr. Leonel Fernández, President of the Dominican Republic, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president-elect of Honduras, and as witnesses of honor, Mr. Elvin Santos, César Ham, Felícito Avila, Ricardo Alvarez, and Mario Canahuati, signed at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on the 20th day of January this year, pronounces as follows:

I. The document does not fill the requirements to be an agreement between governments, has not been followed by legal and formal procedures established in our legal system and international law, which is summarized as follows:

a) The referenced document only includes requirements for the President-elect of Honduras and none for the President of the Dominican Republic, who can not, as was said, sign as a representative of the International Community;

b) The commitment to a Government of Unity and Reconciliation is a constitutional obligation as it is manifested in the same document and is also an obligation under the Agreement Tegucigalpa-San Jose. That is, it is not an option but a constitutional obligation;

c) In relation to the ''safe conduct'' in the documents, it violates our domestic law and international law as stipulated in the Convention on the Law of Asylum and applicable international treaties;

d) Also, the ''order of safe conduct'' violates the law because it seeks to grant the condition of President to a person who ceased to be president as of June 28m as agreed upon and ratified by the Legislature, the Judiciary, and other official institutions of the country. The President Elect has no power to decide the matter;

e) The President Elect is also committing to respect human rights. That is a requirement referred to in our Constitution, international treaties and other laws, an obligation to be contracted when he is sworn in his capacity as President of the Republic; therefore, it is unnecessary to do so in front of a president of another nation;

f) In relation to that Mr Zelaya's ''family and inner circle" can go to the Dominican Republic on the 27th of the current month as guests of that country, this is found to violate the law because Mr. Zelaya and some of his companions have arrest warrants, tax requirements, and court orders for common crimes, such as the prohibition to leave the country;

g) The President Elect has no power to suspend the restriction of citizenship rights to people who have outstanding legal claims, as is the case of Mr. Zelaya and some of his companions; and,

h) Finally, it is unnecessary for the President Elect to commit to the President of the Dominican Republic to manage the international recognition of his government because it is a national commitment contained in Tegucigalpa-San Jose Agreement, signed by representatives authorized by the former-President Zelaya and representatives of the Constitutional President Roberto Micheletti, representing the executive branch.

II. The document in question provides that its validity is from the time it is signed, the 20th instant, at which time the President-elect of Honduras has not taken office, has not given the Constitutional Oath, and neither has the mandate nor the powers characteristic of a current President.

Consequently, the UCD agrees:

1) Respectfully requires of the President-Elect compliance with the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord in the only outstanding point, that is the formation of the Truth Commission, composed of professionals of probity, impartiality, and recognized ability in their countries of origin, preferably European countries, excluding countries of ALBA and the like.

2) To support all efforts made by the President-Elect from the exercise of his administration to overcome the political, economic and social problems, provided that they fall within the rule of law, meaning that no political action should be done outside the legal context. Politics does not justify the violation of the law.

3) Respectfully and strongly request of the President Elect to not administer any kind of Amnesty nor grant Pardon until the results of the Truth Commission are known. Otherwise, the Reconciliation of the Honduran people will be impossible and at the same will promote the division between the Honduran society.

The UCD calls upon all its member organizations to continue steadfast in the defense of democracy and the rule of law

Given in Tegucigalpa, Republic of Honduras, on the 21st day of January 2010.


You are free to use and distribute this translation, but please credit me and link back to the Blogicito.

Related articles:

Pepe's deal with Zelaya - Part 1
Pepe's deal with Zelaya - Part 2
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