Honduras: About the Constitution and Unconstitutionalities
Lately, as the war of words has exploded between those who support the coup and those who oppose, valuable information has been hidden, manipulated or denied; but some valuable information has also surfaced. It's important to put the facts side-by-side, and let the readers judge for themselves.
The coup supporters have had one main reason to applaud the forced installation of an interim government: the violation of the Constitution by Manuel Zelaya, on its articles 239 and 374, which dictate as follows:
"Article 239: The citizen who has ownership of the Executive Branch may not be President or Vice President of the Republic. Anyone who violates this provision or the proposed reform, and those who support it directly or indirectly, will stop immediately in the performance of their respective positions and shall be disqualified for ten (10) years to exercise any public function."
"Article 374: It cannot be reformed, under any circumstances, the previous article, this article, the Constitutional articles related to the form of government, the national territory, Presidential term-limits, the prohibition of a President to be re-elected, and the requirement and prohibitions on who can and cannot be President."
These two articles have served to disguise the coup as a 'legal action'. Micheletti and their followers have repeated over and over again that they're simply protecting the Constitution and the 'petrous articles'. They accuse Zelaya of commiting a serious crime against democracy, and as the Constitution orders, he was to lose his citizen's rights and hand over his seat. And they are completely right. They are SO right, that the following will be undeniable even to all my right-winged friends and coup-supporters, and there is no way to go around this (remember the main reason to support the coup was to restore back constitutional order):
Roberto Micheletti and some other congressmen violated the Constitution repeatedly, long BEFORE Zelaya. But they never lost their citizens' rights, nor their seat, nor were they formally charged with serious crime against democracy. And they were certainly not taken to Costa Rica in their pajamas. This only shows how fragile Honduran democracy really is, with its dubious political connections (politics-church-corporations), and weak institutions. Here are the facts:
On separate occassions, during 1998 and 2002, the Congress suggested and approved some changes to articles 239 and 240 of the Honduran Constitution. Yes, the same articles the Constitution forbids anyone on changing (including the Congress), for they are petrous articles (unchangeable). The legislative decrees were No. 245-98 (passed on September, 1998); No. 268-2 (January, 2002); No. 374-2 (November, 2002) and No. 402-02 (also November, 2002). But this is not my word, you must see to believe.
Roberto Micheletti took part in each one of the above, the same man who's now swearing to protect the nation from Zelaya's "evil" intentions on changing the unchangeable. How ironic. The Congress who overthrows a president for wanting (because he never DID do it) to change a petrous article did exactly the same less than six years ago, and nobody's on the street claiming for justice.
But this is not all. Someone in their right mind did say "wtf" and lodged an appeal on the grounds of unconstitutionality against all four decrees. Finally, on November 2008 the Supreme Court (the one that put the Armed Forces against their commander in chief) admitted the changes done to these articles were unconstitutional and derogated all decrees.
HOWEVER, they did not proceed to penalize those who commited this serious violation to the Constitution, because the Supreme Court "is just a court of justice (...) we can only make declarations, but we cannot penalize" (said judge Carlos Alberto Gómez Moreno). Later on, when some journalists asked the fiscal whether they were going to accuse the congressmen involved in those violations, he said no, because the congressmen were just confused and didn't know they couldn't change the petrous articles.
Now you can laugh.
As a conclusion, please coup supporters, don't bring the Constitution up again. That lady has been raped so many times in front of your noses that it hurts us, SICA, the OAS, the UN and basically the rest of the world.
Finally, here is a Constitutional gift for you all:
"ARTICLE 3. - No one owes allegiance to an usurping government nor those who assume public office via force of arms or utilizing means and procedures that violate or circumvent what is in the Constitution and established by law. The acts taken by such authorities are null. The people have the right to recur to insurrection in order to defend the constitutional order."