Around the Region

Our Around the Region program included Honduras, El Salvador, and Ecuador. It focuses on political and democratic changes in the region, and how they affect – or should affect –U.S. policy toward the Hemisphere.

CDA examines developments in governance, constitutional reform, the role of women in leadership, and efforts by popular movements to change the political and economic arrangements in their nations through democratic processes.

We have reported on constitutional reform in Ecuador and Venezuela and the election of Mauricio Funes of the FMLN in El Salvador.

We have also reported on the coup in Honduras, and provided extensive commentary and analysis of the Obama administration’s policy toward Latin America. You can find information about this reporting below.

Crisis in Honduras and the 2009 coup

“America cannot and should not seek to impose any system of government on any other country, nor would we presume to choose which party or individual should run a country. And we haven’t always done what we should have on that front. Even as we meet here today, America supports now the restoration of the democratically elected president of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies.” — President Obama (July 7)

U.S. Policy Should Encourage Lobo’s government to restore democracy to Honduras

January 27, 2010 – Today in Honduras, with representatives of the U.S. government looking on, Honduras will inaugurate its new president. Our government needs to do better than sit in the audience and applaud; it must stand up for our values and the issues that are at stake in Honduras.

It would be a profound mistake for the Obama administration to restore aid to Honduras without benchmarks and conditions that encourage the restoration of democracy and stability.

Specifically, the Lobo administration must commit to implementing the San Jose Accords, establishing a truth commission, and creating conditions in Honduras under which a national dialogue can take place in which all citizens can freely and fully debate what steps are needed to reform their nation’s institutions without interference from their government. This is the best route Honduras can take to restore its democracy and return stability to its people, and that is the outcome that U.S. policy should be strongly supporting.

The Center for Democracy in the Americas also supports the call issued by Amnesty International that the new Honduran president should order a full investigation into abuses committed by the security forces since the June 28, 2009 coup. Amnesty for actors in the coup d’état and subsequent human rights violations should not be an option until a truth commission is formed and violations of the law are adequately investigated. How Honduras proceeds on amnesty will help determine whether President Lobo is fully committed to national reconciliation or to simply using the air brush of impunity to move forward.

Read CDA Executive Director Sarah Stephens’ testimony at the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, “The Crisis in Honduras,” here.


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