08/08/2011 05:37 pm ET Updated Oct 08, 2011

"The Truth Comes Out in Honduras": A Response from the Center for Constitutional Rights

On July 25, 2011, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed on Honduras. CCR staff member Laura Raymond responded with the letter below, which was not published.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Mary Anastasia O'Grady extensively covers in The Truth Comes Out in Honduras (July 25, 2011) was initiated by Honduran government officials who have been behind ongoing serious human rights abuses and without the input and involvement of civil society. Upon the Commission's inauguration, Honduran and international human rights bodies sharply criticized it for lack of compliance with international standards for truth commissions. O'Grady states that Honduran social movements "didn't quite get the condemnation they sought" from this Commission with the recent release of its report. The truth is, Honduran civil society never sought anything from this Commission; they knew it was doomed from the very beginning which is why a platform of the country's leading human rights organizations established an alternative "Commission of Truth," which has its own report coming out this fall.

It strains credibility that O'Grady still refuses to acknowledge that the armed military kidnapping of a democratically-elected president was a coup. O'Grady says he was "arrested," which is simply not true: he was flown out of the country, dropped off alone on an airport tarmac in Costa Rica, and then the soldiers flew away. That is not an arrest. She even says it was "the Castro brothers and Hugo Chávez and their acolytes" who characterized the events of June 28, 2009 as a military coup d'etat. In fact, the Western Hemisphere saw rare consensus in the days after the coup as Heads of State from the United States and Colombia to Brazil and Ecuador condemned the coup and called for the reinstatement of Zelaya, as did the Organization of American States, which promptly kicked Honduras out.

Let's get the truth straight.

Laura Raymond
International Human Rights Associate
Center for Constitutional Rights
New York, NY

The Center for Constitutional Rights has joined Honduran civil society's alternative Commission of Truth in making Freedom of Information Act requests to the US government. For an analysis of the two commissions and international standards for truth commission please see our factsheet. For more information about our FOIA work please see our Honduras FOIA webpage [link to]

For more information about CCR's other work in Honduras, including our lawsuit against Roberto Micheletti Baín, former president of the Honduran National Congress who assumed the role of head of the de facto government immediately following the coup d'etat that ousted President Zelaya, please see CCR's Honduras Coup webpage.