Commission of Truth reports on progress

On 16 November, the Commission of Truth (Comisión de Verdad), represented by its Chairwoman, Elsy Monge and its Executive Secretary, Thomas Loudon, gave details of the challenges faced and progress made in recent months during a press conference held at the Hotel El Libertador in the Honduran capital.  Members of the Honduras Accompaniment Project, which accompanies the Commission, were present at the event.

The Commission’s representatives stated that it was continuing its work investigating human rights violations committed before, during and after the coup d’état which took place on 28 June 2009.  The Commission has focused on examining the breakdown in democracy caused by the coup and the deterioration in the human rights situation, and their implications for the rule of law.  However, they highlighted the fact that, despite the time that has elapsed since the overthrow of Zelaya, reports are still being received daily of “political killings, forced disappearances, abuse of authority by the security forces and other human rights violations”.  Furthermore, the Commission regretted some officials’ refusal to be interviewed and to cooperate with this important investigation to clarify the facts following the coup d’état, naming Ana Pineda, the Human Rights Minister; Oscar Álvarez, the former Minister of Security, and  General Romeo Orlando Vásquez Velásquez, former Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces.  On the other hand, they were grateful for the trust that the victims have placed in their work, providing over two thousand witness statements from all over the country.

The Commission also regretted the fact that it was only now, two years after the coup, that the Government was beginning to examine the involvement of officials within the justice system in human rights violations, despite repeated reports by national and international human rights organizations.  The Commissioners therefore expressed support for a genuine clean-up, with those responsible for irregularities being brought to justice.

With regard to the final report, given that the recording and documentation necessary to prepare it has been a major undertaking, Elsy Monge and Thomas Loudon announced that it would be presented in the first few months of 2012.  It is worth noting that the Commission also consists of the lawyers Francisco Aguilar (Costa Rican), Luis Carlos Nieto (Spanish), Craig Scott (Canadian); the Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; one of the founders of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Nora Cortiñas, and the Salvadoran Supreme Court judge, Mirna Perla.  The Honduran members of the Commission are Father Fausto Milla, the human rights defender, and the writer, Helen Umaña.

***

TRANSLATION OF PRESS NOTICE

Commission of Truth

Press release

16 November 2011

The Commission of Truth (La Comisión de Verdad) would like to inform the Honduran population and national and international organizations that it is continuing its work investigating human rights violations committed before, during and after the coup d’état on 28 June 2009.

The recording and documentation of the information necessary for the report is a large-scale undertaking, and our mandate involves the investigation of the consequences of impunity and the background to the coup d’état, including its structural, institutional, economic and historic causes.  We consider it imperative to include all these aspects in an investigation which will meet the expectations of Honduran society, and which will help provide the basis for a process of justice.

For this reason that we would like to announce that the Commission of Truth’s report will be presented in the first months of 2012.

The Commission has also focused its work on examining the breakdown of democracy caused by the coup d’état and the deterioration in the human rights situation, and their implications for the rule of law.

We regret the fact that some officials refused to be interviewed by the Commission of Truth and collaborate with this important investigation to clarify the facts following the coup d’état.  However, we are grateful for the trust that the victims have placed in our work, in providing us with over two thousand pieces of testimony in different parts of the country.  Although we are aware that this is only a sample and that there are various cases that which could not be recorded for reasons of time and distance, the collaboration of the population has provided us with the material needed to undertake our investigation.

We also regret the fact that it is only now, two years after the coup, that the Government is beginning to examine the involvement of officials within the justice system in human rights violations, despite the repeated denunciations by national and international human rights organisations.

The Commission of Truth will continue its work and present the results of the investigation which we hope will contribute to the process of achieving the justice that the Honduran people are waiting for.

Commission of Truth

The Commission of Truth is a body created by a range of human organizations at the end of June 2010, on the first anniversary of the coup d’état.

The Commission is comprised of the Costa Rican lawyer, Francisco Aguilar; founder of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Nora Cortiñas; Sister Elsy Monge, who chaired the Truth Commission in her native Ecuador, and is the current Chair of the Honduran Commission of Truth; Salvadoran Supreme Court judge, Mirna Antonieta Perla; the Spanish human rights lawyer, Luis Carlos Nieto; the professor and Canadian lawyer, Craig Scott and the Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.

The Honduran members of the Commission are Father Fausto Milla, the human rights defender, and the writer, Helen Umaña.

Objectives of the Commission of Truth

To clarify the events surrounding the coup d’état of 28 June 2009, in order to demand justice for the Honduran population affected by the coup, and for the necessary measures to be adopted to avoid a repetition of these kinds of events in the future.

Elsy Monge

Chair – Commission of Truth

Thomas Loudon

Executive Secretary

 ***

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE (in Spanish)

Comisión de Verdad (CDV)

Hoja de Prensa

 


16 Noviembre 2011

La Comisión de Verdad (CDV) informa a la población hondureña, organizaciones nacionales e internacionales que continúa en su labor de investigación de las violaciones a derechos humanos, antes, durante y después del golpe de estado realizado el 28 de junio de 2009.

Considerando que el registro y documentación necesarios para el informe es sumamente extenso, y nuestro mandato implica la investigación de las consecuencias de la impunidad y los antecedentes del golpe de estado, que incluye las causas estructurales, institucionales, económicas e históricas, vemos imperativo integrar todos los elementos para una investigación que responda a las expectativas de la sociedad hondureña, y aporte elementos para iniciar un proceso de justicia.

Por esta razón damos a conocer que el informe de la Comisión de Verdad (CDV) será presentado en los primeros meses del año 2012.

La Comisión también ha centrado su trabajo en examinar la ruptura democrática causada por el golpe de estado y el deterioro de la situación de los derechos humanos, y sus implicaciones para el Estado de Derecho.

Lamentamos la negativa de algunos funcionarios a entrevistarse con la Comisión de Verdad y colaborar en esta importante investigación para esclarecer los hechos posteriores al golpe de estado. Pero agradecemos la confianza que las víctimas han depositado en nuestro trabajo al brindar más de dos mil testimonios en diferentes partes del país, si bien sabemos que esta es una muestra y que varios casos no se pudieron registrar por razones de tiempo y distancia, la colaboración de la población nos proporciona elementos necesarios para realizar la investigación correspondiente.

Por otra parte, lamentamos que hasta dos años después del golpe de estado, se comienzan a considerar por parte del Gobierno, la participación  de los operadores de justicia en las violaciones de derechos humanos, a pesar de las denuncias que en reiteradas ocasiones realizaron las organizaciones nacionales e internacionales de derechos humanos.

La CDV continuará su labor y presentará los resultados de la investigación que esperamos contribuyan en el proceso para lograr la justicia que el pueblo hondureño espera.

 Comisión de Verdad

La CDV es una instancia creada por diferentes organizaciones de Derechos Humanos a finales de junio de 2010, en ocasión del primer aniversario del golpe de Estado.

La Comisión está integrada por el jurista costarricense, Francisco Aguilar; la fundadora de Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, Nora Cortiñas; la religiosa Elsie Monge, quien presidió la Comisión de la Verdad en su país Ecuador, y es actual Presidenta de la Comisión de Verdad hondureña; la magistrada de la Corte Suprema salvadoreña, Mirna Antonieta Perla; el jurista español especialista en derechos humanos, Luis Carlos Nieto; el catedrático y jurista canadiense, Craig Scott y el argentino Premio Nobel de la Paz, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.

Los integrantes hondureños de la Comisión, son el Padre Fausto Milla, defensor de derechos humanos, y la escritora, Helen Umaña.

Objetivos de la Comisión de Verdad

Esclarecer los hechos realizados con el golpe de Estado del 28 de Junio del 2009, para demandar justicia, de la población hondureña afectada por el golpe de estado, y se adopten medidas necesarias para evitar se repitan acontecimientos de este tipo a futuro.

Mesa Principal

Elsy Monge

Presidenta – Comisión de Verdad

Thomas Loudon

Secretario Ejecutivo

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One Response to “Commission of Truth reports on progress”

  1. COFADEH marks its 29th anniversary with a mixture of tears and pride « Honduras Accompaniment Project Says:

    […] Honduras Accompaniment Project « Commission of Truth reports on progress […]

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