The leader of the Honduran Army, General Romeo Vásquez, and five of his top officers were charged this week with “abuse of power” in connection with the June ouster of deposed President Manuel Zelaya. The country’s chief prosecutor, Luis Alberto Rubí, did not appear to question the military’s initial detention of Mr. Zelaya, which had been ordered by the courts, but rather their decision to forcibly remove the president from the country.
Since his November 19 election, President-elect Porfirio Lobo has consistently advocated for amnesty and reconciliation between the military, the interim government and the deposed president. This public stance has lead to widespread speculation that the charges against General Vásquez and his subordinates will likely be dropped when they reach the Supreme Court as part of a deal to ease the country’s tensions.
Deposed President Zelaya reacted to news of a possible amnesty in a communiqué from the Brazilian embassy, where he has been holed up for months, saying the Attorney General is using “a new strategy that ensures impunity for the military officers.” Shortly thereafter, hundreds of Zelaya sympathizers marched in Tegucigalpa in opposition to amnesty.