Talk:2009 Honduran constitutional crisis/Archive 6

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Coup rhetoric is not only highly POV but also false

I saw a variety of references to the "coup" in Honduras. Nowhere though does anyone negate the fact that the Honduran Constitution ordered Zelaya's arrest under Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution. Seeing whereas a coup is an extralegal action those who use coup rhetoric have yet to disprove the aforementioned fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

This is not a forum where to "prove" or "disprove" original research. This is where we look at and summarize secondary (not primary) sources. --LjL (talk) 00:46, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
And Article 239 was not cited by the Supreme Court as one of the reasons to detain Zelaya so the poster is misinformed as well. Primary sources can most certainly be used when they're available without conducting original research. Rsheptak (talk) 23:36, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Primary sources should only be used with a lot of care. Though, I don't know about the Supreme Court, but the Congress did use art. 239 as grounds for removal. --LjL (talk) 23:40, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Zelaya attempt to civilianise United States airbase Soto Cano/Pamerola

This is copied from User_talk:Boud, since it is more relevant here. Boud (talk) 23:51, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi, as I mentioned in my edit note, the problem with the sentence is the source; its an opinion piece by Kozloff and opinion pieces are not WP:RS. If you had brought up the fact that Zelaya wanted to convert it to a civilian airport, using another source, I would not object, but as long as you use Kozloff, and his speculations, its not appropriate for this wikipedia article. Rsheptak (talk) 23:28, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Here is the recent edit by Rsheptak and here is Kozloff's article under discussion. i don't quite see why you call this an "opinion piece". Whether or not the claims made in the article are true or false, the article looks to me mostly constituted of a list of factual type statements, apart from "Needless to say", "Ford and Negropontes condescending attitude" (Hondurans may have perceived the attitude as condescending, but then that should have been attributed). i do see at least one problem in the introductory paragraph: "a move opposed by the former U.S. ambassador" is not supported by what is actually given in detail in the main content. Requiring that conversion of a military air base to a civilian airport be recognised by international airport authorities is something that anyone who wants a long lifespan ought to consider reasonable. Maybe it's true that Negroponte was opposed to the conversion and that this was just a pretext, but the case is not supported well in the article.

In any case, it's true that this should exist in other sources - most likely Spanish language Honduran newspapers? It's hard to believe that an issue like this was not reported on. So anyone interested in this issue, especially if you're spanish-literate, please google around and find a WP:RS. Boud (talk) 00:23, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, already found you some, and tried to update the article but Wikipedia is failing right and left when I edit right now so be patient, and yes, Kozloff is an opinion piece, not news analysis. Rsheptak (talk) 00:35, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Done. Rsheptak (talk) 01:28, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Where is the Congressional record?

The website of the National Congress of Honduras is - it has some interesting information, which helped improve the Constitution of Honduras page. However, i could not find anything like a parliamentary record, e.g. as in Hansard in some countries' national legislative bodies, the Congressional Record of the USA, les comptes rendus des debats of the French National Assembly, and similar records of parliamentary/congressional debates in other countries.

Given that Congress seems to have had a very important role during the recent events, and that it's also Congress that proposes/ratifies changes to the Constitution, IMHO the Honduran Congressional record should provide an important source of information for this article. It would probably count as a secondary source, since in principle it should just cite what various deputies (members of Congress) stated, what motions were proposed and by whom, what the resulting votes were, etc. etc.

Can someone find an online version of the Honduran Congressional record? Boud (talk) 18:35, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe it exists. I'm not even sure there is a printed record that's kept. Official decrees are published in the Gaceta de Honduras, which is not available digitally and at times is as much as 2 years behind on publication of laws. Rsheptak (talk) 18:31, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Zelaya's Referendum

One of the things not mentioned in the article, but important, is that the Honduran Constitution can be changed, in fact it has been. There are only three areas in which the Constitution can not be changed. The article which defines the limits of the territory of Honduras, the article which defines the form of government of Honduras (republican democracy) and the article which states that presidents cannot be reelected. It is not a stretch to assume that the only reason that Zelaya wanted a Constitutional Assembly to write a new constitution was to change the article pertaining to presedential reelection. Any other changes did not need a Constitutional Assembly, he could have presented the changes to Congress, in which his party had a majority, the change would have been discussed,probably passed, and then ratified in the next section of congress.EduardoT (talk) 20:12, 17 July 2009 (UTC)EduardoT

It might not be a stretch, but it's hardly an automatic assumption, either. It can be thrown into the article if supported by WP:Reliable sources. --LjL (talk) 20:18, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Without a reliable source quoting Zelaya as saying that was his motivation it's really WP:OR.Simonm223 (talk) 20:35, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Uhm, no, I don't think so; why would it be original research if a published reliable source says it? Of course, it must not be an opinion piece, but that's easily avoided if a non-opinion piece just states something objective like "The re-election article is only one of 3 articles that cannot be changed through normal processes, and therefore a likely candidate".[citation needed] That would be fine. --LjL (talk) 20:38, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough - as long as it was not worded stronger than that. But I'd be awfully picky about what constituted a RS for that.Simonm223 (talk) 20:47, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

There is an article in the July 10, 2009 edition of the LA Times in which Miguel A.Estrada,an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher states: "What you'll learn is that the Honduran Constitution may be amended in any way except three. No amendment can ever change (1) the country's borders, (2) the rules that limit a president to a single four-year term and (3) the requirement that presidential administrations must "succeed one another" in a "republican form of government." Surely a jurist who was considered for the US Supreme Court is a good enough source.EduardoT (talk) 20:56, 17 July 2009 (UTC)EduardoT

Actually no. US law is not Honduras law. Being considered for the US Supreme Court requires you to be an expert on the laws of the USA. It does not make one an expert into the motivations of the President of Honduras.Simonm223 (talk) 21:21, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, that would probably be a reliable source... for the article about the Constitution of Honduras. It's not very relevant to this article, however, unless it makes a direct connection between this and Zelaya's intentions. It wouldn't even be enough to have something saying "the only reason a President may want to change the Constitution is this", something else saying "Zelaya wanted to changed the constitution", and inferring that "Zelaya wanted to change it because of this". That's WP:SYNTH. So, has this Mr. Estrada said anything about Zelaya, in a non-opinion piece? --LjL (talk) 21:01, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Estrada's logic in that piece has been picked apart by numerous authors. Its essentially the same as other's have offered. Here's one: Revisiting the constitutionality... a response to some comments. Here's a piece by a Honduran constitutional law scholar pointing out that the Supreme Court acted illegally in passing the arrest warrant to the military instead of the proper authority, the Policia Nacional Golpe militar y ruptura de la continuidad constitucional. I believe the bit about the constitution haveing articles that are unchangeable is already in the article, mentioned several times (see the text around the famous article 239 text). As for it being the only reason Zelaya could want to call a constitutional convention, bull hockey. Its speculation, and has no place in the article. Rsheptak (talk) 21:13, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I analyzed the Estrada article here: Honduras Supreme Court: It Was "Common Knowledge" That Zelaya Was No Longer President. Jules Siegel (talk) 10:23, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Hey, Jules...I've been off Wikipedia for a bit, and on returning, I discover that you've written a Huffington Post article on the issue I raised here a few weeks ago. Interesting, and somewhat flattering to think that the point I was making was more important than I even gave myself credit for at the time. Great article, by the way. Zachary Klaas (talk) 15:46, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

What other reasons do you believe Zelaya could have had for wanting to modify the constitution. Just asking, truly interested, do not take it badly.EduardoT (talk) 21:44, 17 July 2009 (UTC)EduardoT

I don't know; I don't care; this is not a forum for discussing the topic in general, and not a place to discuss what-if scenarios. I say let's stick to the article and the verifiable facts to put into it. --LjL (talk) 21:52, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't take it badly. Others have written replies more eloquent than I possibly could, but the basic idea was to try to move Honduras from a representative democracy (where the diputados decide what's good for the people) to give people a chance to have a say directly what they want. Because of the way the Honduran constitution is written, diputados owe loyalty only to the party bosses, and don't really represent the people. To quote Zelaya, from an El Pais interview:
Look, I thought I would make changes from within a neoliberal scheme. But the rich will not give up a penny. The rich will not give up any of their money. They want it all for themselves. So, logically, to make changes you have to incorporate the people.
Go and read these blog entries that translate essays by Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle, especially the one entitled "What Advocates Hoped to Change in the Honduran Constitution" all of which were originally published in El Tiempo: to get some idea of what was intended. Others besides Rodolfo have written about this as well. Rsheptak (talk) 22:02, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Here's my two cents. Ammending the constitution via the regular National Assembly requires a two-thirds majority. In a constituent assembly things would likely be decided by 50% plus one. That makes change more likely via a constituent assembly. Also, according to Fasquelle's material posted on the blog, the National Assembly is so much in the hands of party bosses that no change could be expected from it. A constituent assembly, elected by a different process, might well be considerably more radical in its composition.
Another thing that might speak to zelaya's possible motivations: Associated Press citing an analyst, Manuel Orozco, says "His campaign for changing the constitution has energized his support base of labor groups, farmers and civil organizations who have long felt marginalized in a country where a wealthy elite controls the media and much of politics." (near bottom of article) Maybe he's trying to whip up some kind of momentum for change. A shiny new constituent assembly might do that; thrashings-about in the hoary old National Assembly not likely to.
Other new leftist Latin American constitutions have been about more than just getting rid of term limits. Eg., Venezuela's put in a lot of stuff about indigenous rights and womens rights, and a major thrust of it was towards trying to create more participative democracy -- citizen's councils, citizens being able to propose laws, etc. Possibly Zelaya had things like this in mind. It would be nice if we could dig up some newspaper articles from the last 4 years where he speaks to this. I've made a minor effort but haven't found much. --Ong saluri (talk) 23:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
And that hits one of the major problems with the referendum; much like in the US, a Constituent Assembly cannot be called by a vote of the people. I don't even know if the Honduran Constitution allows for them at all. (talk) 14:59, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
According to Honduran constitutional law scholar Efrain Moncada Silva a constituent asssembly can be called by a vote of the people, but that this was not that vote. Rsheptak (talk) 16:25, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
That would be Zelaya's Minister of Government and Justice, yes? I have found information online ranging from his belief that it was illegal for the military to carry out the court's order, and therefore everything subsequent to that is invalid to suggestions that he warned Zelaya against the referendum. I have not found anything suggesting he believes a constituent assembly is permitted under their laws. Please provide a cite for your statement. (talk) 22:40, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
It was in one of his post-coup editorials in La Tribuna. Sorry I don't have time to be more specific right now. Rsheptak (talk) 23:19, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I can only find one relevant editorial by him in La Tribuna, and while it does make several points (though two statements in the foundation of his argument are self contradictory) about why Zelaya's removal was illegal, he says nothing regarding the referendum or constituent assemblies. (talk) 00:38, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I was sure it was in one of those editorials. He's written at least 3 there since June 28th on consitutional issues. What I remember him talking about is not specificaly about the referendum, but how a constitutional assembly is (as I recall) a natural right of constitutional law. Anyhow I'll try and remember to look for this when I get back from vacation next week. Rsheptak (talk) 04:02, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

FYI Cuarta Urna publicity flyer

For those that have wondered out loud on this page why hold a constitutional convention, if not to extend the presidents term in office, we finally have an answer, in the form of a publicity flyer that was produced to distribute if the poll indicated that the cuarta urna should be implemented in the November elections. The document is on page 154 of a 159 page timeline document released by the Armed Forces on July 18, 2009. The document outlines the kinds of new clauses that might be included in a new constitution. here's a translation, original on page 154 here: Cronologia de los eventos:

Cuarta Urna Peaceful Route to the Citizen's Revolution! A New Constitution

The fourth ballot box is the democratic road to make it legally possible to convene a Constitutional Assembly that could write a new Constitution, to give Honduras a superior democracy, in which the people will not only freely elect their rulers and representatives at all levels of Government, but as well will participate actively in the fundamental decisions that affect their lives and exercise actual control over those who are in power in their name.

Among the momentous topics that should be included in the new Constitution we single out the following:

a) Social Control: establishment of recall referenda, so that the people will have the possibility of denying their confidence in the middle of their term, to those that have been elected and have betrayed them-- and of the Death Crusade! Censure and veto, for mayors, representatives, and the President.

b) Actual freedom of the press, which means equitable access to the media for all the social and political organizations and all the citizens, and that will impede the use of the ownership of the means of communication as an instrument of accumulation of economic and political power.

c) Economic liberty with social responsibility, that will guarantee private property with a social use and the social economy of the market, placing the human being at the center of the economy and rescuing public services for the people.

d) Authentic political liberty that will impede the monopoly of representation on the part of the current party members, who slow the actual participation of the citizens, whether party activists or not, in national politics. Election of representatives by electoral districts and separation of the dates of elections for Presidents, Representatives, and Mayors.

e) Renewal of confidence in those officials who have dignified their office, fulfilling it adequately for the citizens.

f) Popular consultation to guarantee that no ruler could snatch from the People their economic and social takings, because any decisions that menaced these takings only could be legalized by means of a Popular Consultation.

g) Constitutional obligation to aid the progress of Woman as central actor in the development of the country.

h) To grant priority to the individual rights, social, economic, and the rest that will be established, as well as the guarantees of a multicultural and pluri-ethnic society.

i) To incorporate the rights known constitutionally as "third and fourth generation rights" as constitutional rights.

j) To institute the Constitutional Tribunal.

Rsheptak (talk) 23:32, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

It actually says "e) Renewal of confidence in those officials who have dignified their office?" And people are wondering why continuismo motives are suspected? You could drive a Mack truck through that loophole. What is "renewal of confidence" if not renewal of the term of office? What in the current constitution forbids people merely having "confidence" in a public official? If "confidence" in this context doesn't refer to renewing the term of office, to what does it refer? Zachary Klaas (talk) 00:56, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
A recall election, which I've seen elsewhere was among the ideas (don't remember where) is a more obvious interpretation. Since it's an 87mb file, perhaps Rsheptak could provide the full original Spanish of that section. Rd232 talk 09:00, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Then why the use of the term "renewal"? A recall election ends a politician's term of office, it doesn't "renew" it. "Renovación" in Spanish is a fairly direct cognate for the English "renewal", so I'd also be hard pressed that everyone would interpret it this way given the Spanish text. Zachary Klaas (talk) 04:16, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I remember reading that a recall mechanism for elected officials was desired, but I think that's covered under point A above. Rsheptak (talk) 18:33, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Which, in my view, makes it all the more suspicious as a separate point. Zachary Klaas (talk) 04:23, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Zachary, you are so off base here. It means renew confidence in elected officials, who are not trusted in Honduras. I invite you over to greg weeks blog Two Weeks Notice and his posting for August 1 where he discusses this very topic and how it dominated discussions among Zelaya's advisors. Confidence in elected officials is important and has major implications for people paying taxes, violence, etc. It means what it says.
Point E reads, in spanish: Renovación de confianza a aquellos funcionarios que hayan dignificado su cargo, cumpliendo adecuadamente con los ciudadanos. Rsheptak (talk) 18:28, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
What am I missing here? The August 1 entry on that blog says nothing about Zelaya having some discussion with his advisors about this topic, or indeed anything about this topic. The entry is about dissatisfaction with government in general, which I'll admit is germane to what we're discussing here, as Honduras's dissatisfaction is pretty high...but nothing on there is an argument against Point E in this list not being a pitch for continuismo.
In the July 21 blog posting at that site, there is some discussion about re-election with recall as being something that other Latin American presidents are hoping can be enacted in their countries (the blog mentions lefty Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and righty Alvaro Uribe in Colombia as those that have expressed interest in such a thing)...but for Zelaya to seek a change to allow re-election of the president with the right of recall would still be a clear violation of Article 239.
It still looks to me like Point E is a purposely vague demand into which only one thing could logically fit - a demand for the right to re-elect presidents in Honduras. If you have some more plausibly-defended theory, I'm still listening, but this doesn't convince me. Zachary Klaas (talk) 04:12, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Original research by image?

Can we have a debate about this image File:Bloque popular se reparte dinero para apoyar a zelaya.jpg? I think this might be original research by image. There is certainly no reliable source to say that the image means what the caption claims, only the uploading editor's assertion. That sounds like OR to me. Rd232 talk 07:32, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

i will put a source soon Vercetticarl (talk) 07:45, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
OK, but it needs to be a reliable source which documents that that image means what you say it means, shows what you say it shows. (i.e. not merely a source for these events having happened.) Unless the image came from a reliable source (-> copyright issues), that's hard to imagine. Rd232 talk 08:41, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

removed opinions

Here is the array of opinions recently added to the article, which, in my opinion, add nothing to the article and don't belong.

"The coup was launched as the leftist leader tried to push through a vote allowing Presidents to stand for a second term--an action seen as an effort to extend his power, as ally Chávez has done in Venezuela," reported Ioan Grillo in a news article summarizing and describing the crisis, written for the August 10, 2009 edition of Time magazine.[1] The German newspaper Die Welt also reported that Zelaya was pushing through a vote specifically on term limits, and his "opponents" reacted to this behavior: "Opponents of Zelaya believe he was pushing the limits of democracy with his drive to extend the single four-year term of presidents to allow re-election." [2] In Elisabeth Malkin's New York Times article describing the events of the date of the coup itself, the "critics" of Zelaya were identified as holding the opinion that the referendum was meant as an end run around term limits. "The arrest of Mr. Zelaya was the culmination of a battle that had been simmering for weeks over a referendum, which was to have taken place Sunday, that he hoped would lead to a revision of the Constitution. Critics said it was part of an illegal attempt by Mr. Zelaya to defy the Constitution’s limit of a single four-year term for the president."[3] Notably, the last two of these articles refer to "critics" or "opponents" of Zelaya as holding these positions, rather than specifically coup-supporting opponents.

As other reporters such as Will Weissert and John Rice of the Associated Press have noted, while "Coup supporters ... argued that Zelaya's backing of a constitutional assembly was a backdoor way of erasing the ban on re-election[,] Zelaya denies plotting to remove term limits or the ban on re-election."[4] As Maurice Lemoine reported on August 9, 2009 in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "But this [claim that Zelaya had sought, unconstitutionally, to amend the country's 1982 constitution so he could seek another term of office in the presidential elections coming in November] was not true. The constitution remains in force until further notice, and the head of state cannot stand for reelection. With 400,000 signatures to support him, Zelaya had planned only to organize a voluntary survey on election day to find out whether Hondurans wanted a Constituent National Assembly to be convened at some point."[5]

So lets discuss this. Rsheptak (talk) 18:53, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Once upon a time, some of the continuismo analysis was in an Analytical Theories section where I think such material as the above could prove valuable to readers who are approaching this material without much background and could benefit by reading arguments for and against viewing the coup as a response to attempts at continuismo. It is opinion, but sourced opinion is perfectly valid wikipedia reliable source material for analysis purposes. I agree that having so much he said/she said analysis in the news summary portion of the article isn't the best placement, but somebody keeps deleting the theories section. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 19:24, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Just to add a few thoughts, and please don't take this as a call to delete more sections: The above concerns of some segments of Honduran society with alleged attempts at continuismo would appear to be as much background as the material currently contained in the first 3 sections of the article, viz. 1.1 Displeasure of the business elite and conflicts with the working class, 1.2 Previous coups d'etat, 1.2.1 Role of the military and human rights abuses post-1979. While I might find the class conflict and miltary abuse arguments more persuasive, it is a bit bizarre to have only anti-coup background with little or no mention of the fears of the coup supporters as balance. One could move all of this backgound to a theories section or include a continuismo and fear of Venezuelan influence section as balance at the beginning, which is sort of what I saw the material above as being. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 19:44, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh brother. I add a quote in which a reliable source states that Zelaya was trying to set the stage to be re-elected sometime, and all hell breaks loose. You can't have it both ways, people. You can't say "your statement on continuismo is just an opinion, no reliable sources agree with that interpretation, please remove it" and then when reliable sources do in fact agree with that interpretation, move in and delete it. Time's a reliable source. Die Welt is a reliable source. Either tell me how I violated the rules this time, or admit that the "lefter than thou" propaganda on this page could indeed be balanced out by what other people in this world see. Zachary Klaas (talk) 21:57, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I think AbbyKelleyite's point of view is well-taken. I would be pleased to see the Analysis section restored. But if it is not to be restored because "facts as reported by reliable sources are to be preferred to sourced opinions", then the Ioan Grillo report really, really needs to be put back on the page. I included this because it was a straightforward "Zelaya was trying to continue in office" report which was not presented as an opinion, but as the reporter's description of what was happening. By the rules as I've been led to understand them, if a reliable source says it happened, we can put it on the page. Are these rules just for certain people on here, or are they everyone's rules? Zachary Klaas (talk) 22:05, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Here's the way I see it; there are a myriad of reporters opinions about what was going on in Honduras, but it boils down to some say he was trying to extend his term, and some say he wasn't, so lets note that in the article, use the sources you've both cited as reference for that, and leave it at that. Otherwise, we are all going to start adding sentences from various articles in support of each side, and that's what I'd like to avoid. Rsheptak (talk) 22:26, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, but note what the Grillo article says. "The coup was launched as the leftist leader tried to push through a vote allowing Presidents to stand for a second term..." That's not "people thought he was doing this". That's "he was doing it". Presented as fact, not opinion. If this doesn't count as a reliable source covering a statement of fact, I don't know what does. The Wikipedia rules of engagement say that we don't attempt to say what is or is not true on here, but to report on what reliable sources say the truth is. Time is a reliable source, that's what it said the truth was. The rules are the rules. For everyone, not just for the rest of you. It's illegitimate to regard this as one of a "myriad of reporters opinions" when every time someone says "Zelaya denies he was doing this", that counts as a fact. Either the Grillo article counts as fact, or the "Zelaya denies he was doing this" argument is a contested opinion. You can't have it both ways. Zachary Klaas (talk) 23:36, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, note that the Grillo quote substantiates the argument that there had been a coup. "The coup was launched as the leftist leader tried to push through a vote..." So the reporter is substantiating both that there was a coup and that it was precipitated by actions on Zelaya's part which were aimed at extending term limits. So it is possible to hold that a coup did occur, and yet that Zelaya's actions were illegal and provocative. If this quote goes, we return to the simplistic portrayal of the crisis as being an "elites versus the people" narrative. Zachary Klaas (talk) 23:43, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I've tried to implement the solution proposed by Rsheptak by putting back the current matrial with a "sources differ" lead-in. I agree that adding more cites won't illuminate the dispute much, but I think it is a dispute worth chronicling. I would welcome anyone else tightening up the language but would encourage them not to remove cited references unless replacing them with better ones. If someone thinks this material would fit better someplace else thta's fine by me, too. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 14:22, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Just wanted to add that the journalists taking the opposing positions to Grillo also state their positions as fact. e.g. Zelaya denies any intention to seek reelection. Stating "facts" about events yet to happen is more in the realm of analysis, and I think the "sources differ" language is fully justified. Certainly the factual language of the referendum question is silent as to reelection. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 15:14, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I absolutely agree, but the terms of engagement here are that a reliable source has to present it as fact before Wikipedia puts it up. Previously, I was either told that the sources weren't reliable ("they're Honduran sources, no one believes them after the coup") or that the sources expressed opinions ("who cares what Álvaro Vargas Llosa thinks"). I finally get a reliable source reporting what these other sources have been saying, and people act like they can still ignore this dimension to what's going on. It just bugs me, that's all. I'll gladly settle for a "sources differ", because it acknowledges Grillo as a source. Zachary Klaas (talk) 20:31, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Would you like to go ahead and implement the "sources differ" solution in the article and add the citations on both sides? Whoever told you to ignore honduran sources was an idiot; they're used throughout this, and the chronology, article. If you want opinions on both sides of the Zelaya issue, look at the editorial pages of the La Tribuna and Tiempo, both of which print authors who support opposing sides of the issue. Here's something interesting that I found out today aboiut La Prensa, that I haven't had a chance to follow up on and confirm. The claim is that in the lobbing form filed with the Senate for Lanny Davis, La Prensa, at its street address in barrio guamelito, is listed as one of the sponsors funding him, and its listed not as a newspaper, but as a publicity firm. Might explain why it hasn't seemed like a newspaper for the last couple of years! Rsheptak (talk) 23:28, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
The solution was already implemented when I made my earlier comment. I was just blowing off steam.  :) As far as the Honduran sources thing, just remember you've said this, as there will no doubt be some source that will be rejected at some future point for this page simply because it's Honduran, and it is assumed that there can't be a "free" paper in Honduras under the coup government. Zachary Klaas (talk) 00:26, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

COHA citation

Rsheptak said in removing a COHA citation to that This article was retracted by COHA...see their website for why, so stop citing it. Unfortunately, in visiting the COHA site, I did not find that this article had been retracted. Instead, COHA says: COHA will provide equal space and distribution to those who dispute the findings of this article. Also the article is not being cited for opinion, it is being cited for the fact stated in the article that fourth box to vote on whether or not the electorate wanted to choose a National Constituent Assembly. According to Zelaya, this proposed body would draft a new Honduran constitution. If Rsheptak would indicate specificallty where the COHA has disavowed the facts stated in that article, I would gladly remove ithe citation. --Bejnar (talk) 16:32, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Not sure if this is the same clarification, but here goes: Clarification of COHA’s Position on President Zelaya and What Went on in Honduras "On Friday, June 26, COHA issued a statement regarding recent events in Honduras. As a result of this communiqué, the organization has received a heavy volume of mail on the subject, most of it intensely critical. The article was drafted by Brian Thompson, an extremely bright young Honduran national and an ardent opponent of President Zelaya. Brian was under significant pressure within his community to steer his piece in a direction that would censor Zelaya’s “irresponsible actions,” which had been not a few in number. The only problem was that Brian’s “take” on what was happening in Honduras substantially differed from that of COHA. The result was that in a crowded office of some 30 researchers, the Honduran piece was released without sufficient oversight, and carried an analysis that was much different from that of COHA’s." Abby Kelleyite (talk) 17:38, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
From the clarification notice: "It can be surmised that some of those who acted against Zelaya are worthy people who acted out of a sincere belief that Honduras’ democratic principles were at stake. But no matter how well-intentioned they may have been, the military must realize that because of the region’s experience with military seizures of power and subsequent rule in which thousands of innocent civilians were subjected to an array of human rights atrocities as well as murder by armed forces, the hemisphere must stand united in upholding the principle of no extra-constitutional changes of power." I quoted the whole paragraph so people cannot say I've been selective in my quoting here. Interesting, isn't it? An actual concession that people with concern for Honduran democracy might have been sincere in opposing Zelaya? (For those of you out there thinking this Wiki article will do lots to convince people to support the "democratic" Zelaya presidency, wouldn't it be a good thing to include this in the article, so it's clear that one doesn't have to endorse his way of operating to care about democracy?) Zachary Klaas (talk) 20:37, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Abby Kelleyite found the retraction I was refering to. Its only references to that specific article by Brian Thompson that I removed. To be totally clear, I'm not against citing COHA articles, only that specific one. I have not touched other COHA references, even though I personally think they're a weak, compromised source. The facts it was being used to support are easily supported from other articles. Sorry I didn't take the time to write a comment here about it. Thanks. Rsheptak (talk) 23:19, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Zachary Klaas, I think what you're implying is that those of us who are against the coup don't think that those who carried it out had sincere beliefs, that they're just being cynics? There might be some here who fit that description, but I haven't found them yet. Rsheptak (talk) 23:06, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, then you must not be talking to the same people I've met in my travels here.  :) To be fair, you and AbbyKelleyite have been quite reasonable with me. For others, my doubting the Gospel According To St. Mel seems to have been grounds for excommunication.  :) Zachary Klaas (talk) 00:32, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and by the way...I'm one of "those of us who are against the coup". I've posted repeatedly on here that Micheletti's rise to power does constitute a coup because of the numerous violations of due process his government committed in its prosecution of Zelaya. I've been trying to support the case that opponents of the coup can also be opponents of Zelaya. Zachary Klaas (talk) 00:35, 14 August 2009 (UTC)


I just reverted myself on the "125-3" count based on objections raised on my talk page by Rsheptak. I think that the 125-3 count is relevant and important to include, because it has been influential in shaping public opinion. The question, then, is how to include it properly and fairly.

The overall point is that it is pretty clear (and I know of no one claiming the opposite) that the voice vote was overwhelmingly in favor. That it was may very well be, in part, that some of the members who might have opposed it were not notified (and thus not present), and some others claim to have been denied entry. All of these facts are relevant to the end reader's understanding.

The implication before my edits, it seemed to me, was that the vote may have been ambiguous that day, that no one can be really sure what the legislative body as a whole thinks of the matter. Including all the facts that are known and undisputed (as well as indicating which things are disputed) will help the reader to better understand.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:36, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

My suggestion is to include it in a separate sentence, saying something like "Senator Jim Demint indicates in a letter on his website, that the Honduran Congress voted 125-3 to remove Zelaya from power" rather than trying to graft it to an existing sentence. Other sources say the vote was "unanimous". Perhaps we need 3-4 sentences about the vote itself, acknowledging that nearly everything other than that a vote took place, and that they voted to remove Zelaya, is contested. Rsheptak (talk) 00:45, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I like your suggestion re: citing DeMint letter in separate sentence. And grouping it with statements re: missing legislators and anyone denied ability to vote. Also worth mentioning that the vote was taken when the de facto regime was still proffering a fraudulent signed resignation letter from Zelaya. As to a better source for the actual count, note that I have also seen 122-6 (ultimate source LA Times Op-Ed): "the Congress removed it [doubt] by convening immediately after Zelaya’s arrest, condemning his illegal conduct and overwhelmingly voting (122 to 6) to remove him from office." What's really going on in Honduras? Note that Micheletti didn't bother giving an exact count in his Wall St Journal piece: "The Honduran Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of removing Mr. Zelaya. The vote included a majority of members of Mr. Zelaya’s Liberal Party." The Path Forward for Honduras. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 15:49, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that the important facts for the reader to know are these: (1) There are 128 members (2) There are vote totals floating around that aren't likely accurate, since the vote totals (125-3, 122-6) add up to 128, and it's pretty clear that at least some legislators were not there (either denied entry or not informed fo the vote) (3) nonetheless, no one is disputing that the vote was overwhelming and (4) no one is arguing that the vote would have gone the other way had the other legislators been there - clearly a majority supported it, and likely a very large majority.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:13, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I do think that points (3) and (4) are made pretty well by the "show of hands" language from the AP article cited, as such non-roll call votes are usually reserved for situations of overwhelming support in all parliamentary systems I know of, but perhaps the language could be tweaked to emphasize the support. As for the first two points, I think they are good one's but tough to add without it being WP:OR unless someone has a source for the discrepancy in the vote totals and missing legislators. I've looked a bit in English sources but I'm no search expert. Perhaps there is a spanish source that has pointed this out? I think some source did point out the problem with earlier claims of unanimity, or at least that's what the first footnote in the succession sub-section appears to be saying: (footnote 91) "The vote has sometimes been called unanimous, but that is in considerable doubt". Abby Kelleyite (talk) 15:58, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm embarrassed. That's my wife's and my blog being cited for footnote 91, and BLOGS ARE NOT CITABLE AS WP:RS IN THIS WAY, and no, I didn't add that. There are, or were, substantial sources in spanish for the following (a) that not everyone was present, (b) that the vote was by a show of hands, (c) that the UD party, and many members of the Liberal party were not notified of the meeting or were barred from entering Congress during the session, (d) that at least 13 Liberal Party members signed a letter saying they did not vote for Zelaya's replacement, (e) that others felt intimidated into voting for it, (f) that the vote was unanimous, and (g) an assortment of vote counts for and against. Not all of these sources are still available since considerable time has passed since the vote took place. I'd still like to know why the point that it was an overwhelming vote to remove, which no one disputes, is important...the important fact is that they did vote to remove, which is already conveyed in the article. The overwhelmingness of it is irrelevant. I will remove footnote 91 now. Rsheptak (talk) 18:40, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I thought that was a good footnote. The Tiempo story linked therein doesn't appear to be available anymore, so I'd opt for leaving the footnote in at least until we find another source. Sorry if I sounded like I was criticizing it. I was mainly trying to point out the extent to which Jimbo's points had been covered. As for the "overwhelming" vote thing, at the risk of mangling Jimbo's meaning, I think the main point is that it not be portrayed as some close vote that could have gone either way, which I don't think it is for the reason I mentioned above: Nobody uses show of hands for close votes. As an aside, don't be embarrassed by someone else citing your wife's blog. Not your fault and, in any event, I've found her well-sourced blog to have added greatly to my understanding of events and apparently so did the editor who added that footnote.Abby Kelleyite (talk) 19:45, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

To make the article "2009 Honduran constitutional crisis" accurate

2009 Honduran constitutional crisis

Contrary to what the article says the 2009 Honduran Constitutional Crisis did not begin on June 28 2009. Zelaya had already started the crisis a long time before with his constant demonstrations of scorn, disregard and disrespect for the other two branches of government (honduras is a republic with the independent and equally powerful branches), with speeches where he called for the the disolution of congress and a call for reelection —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sampedranocatracho (talkcontribs) 02:33, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

While on paper the 3 branches of government appear to be equal in power, in fact, they are not. The Congresso Nacional, aka, the legislative branch, is the powerful one. It selects and elects the Supreme Court, and thus controls it politically. The presidency is weak. Rsheptak (talk) 17:36, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Out of curiosity...

I'm curious if anyone has information on what the Micheletti government is doing about the candidacies of César Ham and Carlos Reyes for president in 2009. The Micheletti position is that this election is going to happen, either on schedule or earlier if so negotiated. Zelaya cannot run due to the existing constitutional requirements, and doubly so because of his involvement in the referendum business. The candidates for the National Party (Porfirio Lobo Sosa) and the Liberal Party (Elvin Santos) are okay to run as far as the Micheletti government is concerned, but where these other two gentlemen are concerned, I'm not sure what's going on.

Both Ham and Reyes appear to have been caught up in the protests, both on Zelaya's side. For a moment it was speculated that Ham had died during the protests (which apparently was a false rumor). The Wiki article for Ham says that he played a direct role in the Cuarta Urna movement, and thus presumably would be disqualified from running for president due to his involvement according to Article 239 (or at least Micheletti's interpretation of same). Reyes has apparently been active in protesting the Micheletti regime, but it's not clear from what I've seen (admittedly little) whether he played a role in the Cuarta Urna movement, so perhaps he would not be disqualified.

Granted, both of these people are dark horse rather than mainstream candidates, and perhaps they are boycotting the elections due to their support for Zelaya...but has anyone seen anything concrete? Also, I'm wondering if candidates who are not either associated with the Right (the Nationalists) or with Zelaya's party (the Liberals) might get a bump in the polls...I suspect a lot of Hondurans are frustrated with both sides in this crisis. (Of course, the fact that Micheletti is also a Liberal muddies interpretation here, but in any case, I'd be interested to see how this crisis is affecting the upcoming plans for elections.)

What do people know? Zachary Klaas (talk) 04:13, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

The Wiki page for the Democratic Unification Party, Ham's party, speculates that Zelaya might endorse Ham in the November elections. I would wonder whether that means he would do this in the event that the coup seems to me a likely course of action for Zelaya and supporters would be to boycott any election organized by Micheletti's government. But if this is a genuine statement of support of some kind for the DUP and Ham, that would indicate that Zelaya now considers himself as having made a definitive break with the Liberal Party, something I have not yet seen reported. Zachary Klaas (talk) 04:25, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Ham and Reyes both will appear on the official ballot, in positions 5 (Ham) and 6 (Reyes) as you can see here. Ham had been protesting about a week ago after returning to Tegucigalpa, but I've heard nothing about him in at least a week. Reyes was severely beaten by the police during the protests in Tegucigalpa last thursday and suffered a broken arm. No one has filed charges against them yet, but both appear on the list of names the Fiscalia is investigating, so I expect they will be charged with crimes before the election itself.
The speculation that Zelaya might endorse Ham is based on Ham's participation in the recovery of the ballots for the encusta the night of June 25th. An amazing thing about the crowd that night was the variety of political parties represented. I've never seen a gathering like it ever before in Honduras. The alliance Zelaya has forged is thought to represent about 30% of the electorate in Honduras, across all parties. If they all united behind a single candidate, they could give the 2 major parties a serious run for their money and force a power-sharing government, and this scares both parties. Rsheptak (talk) 05:03, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
If this is true, we should keep in mind that this info should ultimately be on the page for this topic. The trick is supporting that it's true, of course. I looked at your source for the ballot, and it's unclear to me how recent the information on that page is (I couldn't find a date of publication for the info, and my half-knowledge of Spanish may be insufficient to help me know whether this is or is not the current government's ballot for the upcoming elections (as opposed to the ballot as it had existed previously, before the crisis). But if it is the current government's version of the ballot, that's interesting, especially since it seems like César Ham in particular should be disqualified by Article 239 just as it was argued Zelaya was. (Possibly Reyes as well, but definitely Ham given that he participated in the "reclaiming of the ballots" thing.) That's an inconsistency in the argument of the Micheletti side.
I note that this is a Honduran source, which may not be admissible under the current "Honduran newspapers are likely to be mouthpieces for the establishment, so they're not reliable sources" view which has been prevailing here, but it's unlikely a pro-Micheletti source, on the other hand, would lie about what Micheletti's formal position is. We could probably trust it to print what Micheletti says will be on the ballot. I'm more concerned that I'm not sure the source you've posted here has a date indicating that it is the current version of the ballot. Zachary Klaas (talk) 02:55, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
My understanding of the Honduran constitution is that the ban on politics for advocating changes to the presidential term is blanket, not specific to the presidency. If they haven't removed Ham from congress by now, they probably don't intend to prevent him from running. (talk) 16:16, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
It is blanket, which is why this is so interesting. By the inner logic of Micheletti's case, Ham should have also been divested of his position - so not only failing to divest him of the position but also allowing him to run for the presidency would be a weird and inconsistent move on the de facto government's part. It would end up being even more odd if Zelaya did in fact throw his electoral weight behind Ham, possibly rendering him a mainstream candidate in the process. If that happened, the Micheletti government would be faced with saying "It was wrong when Zelaya did it, but we're prepared to let Ham get away with it." That would be confusing legally. It would also be wacky politically, given that Ham is an outright socialist politician, whereas Zelaya is a Liberal allying himself with the left. Not that anything can really go on the page for this topic about all this yet, but when the presidential election does come, this might very well end up being a topic we should include in a section of this article. Zachary Klaas (talk) 02:59, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

The obvious article for putting RS info on this sort of stuff would seem to me to be Honduran general election, 2009 and the place for discussing it is Talk:Honduran general election, 2009. Some (ideally Spanish-speaking) people might like to try to email/trace whoever holds copyrights for photos of the six candidates and then upload them to the commons if the copyright holders clearly agree to publish. See the links on the Talk: page for details. A user has posted non-free photos, waiting to be deleted, of two candidates, though they are no longer linked to the election article. Boud (talk) 21:27, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

And two candidates don't even have articles yet! There's work to be done if that direction interests you. Boud (talk) 21:29, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, I expect discussion of the upcoming 2009 Honduran general election would be most germain for the page specifically relating to that election...but if any of the things we were just talking about result from that election, I was just observing we will need to bring some of that in here, as it will be part of the continuing development of the crisis. I would be interested in helping with those articles, but possibly people who speak Spanish better than I do should also be enlisted.  :) Zachary Klaas (talk) 20:12, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Just some late comments on this subject. The question of who gets on the ballot for the 2009 November election is determined by the Electoral Courts, not Micheletti who heads the executive branch at this point. Micheletti has no say. The Attorney General used as evidence the siezing of the ballots incident against Zelaya because he asserted his authority as commander in chief and ordered the Air Force personnel not to interfer with his companions retaking the boxes. The Military personel at the base complide with his order. So it was his overt act as President, giving the order, that represented his defiance of the court order that siezed the ballots. Everyone else along for the walk, where just that, along for a walk.DrivelEliminator (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:29, 23 August 2009 (UTC).

"non-binding referendum" a POV?

I have often heard the phrase "non-binding referendum" applied to Zelaya's proposed referendum, and have read it in this and other related articles. It seems to me that this is a point-of-view, and would like to replace it with just the word "referendum" wherever it appears. What do you think about this? Aeortiz (talk) 03:22, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

POV implies the existence of opposing views. Spanish language sources reported that the poll was no vinculante (non binding),[1][2][3] so "non-biding referendum" is sourced. I have never heard of any report saying it was binding so I don't see any POV issue. JRSP (talk) 04:48, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree. That was the result of a compromise between "poll" and "referendum". If the referendum was intended to be non-binding, there's no reason why we shouldn't mention that. --LjL (talk) 12:38, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
WP:RS english language sources also regularly refer to the non-binding nature of the referendum even when pointing out criticisms of it, e.g. the Washington Post wrote as early as July 1: "Critics have charged that Zelaya in his nonbinding referendum was seeking a change in the constitution that would allow him to serve for more than one term as president." Two Hondurans Headed for Clash. Likewise, the New york Times on July 1: "The army had resisted participating in a nonbinding referendum on constitutional changes that Mr. Zelaya continued to push after both Congress and the courts had labeled the president’s move unconstitutional." Leader’s Ouster Not a Coup, Says the Honduran Military. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 15:21, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Precisely, I don't actually recall anybody disputing that the referrendum would be non-binding. Certainly Zelaya never characterized it otherwise.Simonm223 (talk) 15:29, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
non-binding is language taken from the decreto itself and is descriptive, not POV. It would be POV to impute it if the language wasn't already in the decree. Rsheptak (talk) 17:20, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The point is that the Honduran Constitution clearly and unequivocally prohibits even the discussion of amending the articles that prevent re-election. Additionally, the Constitution prescribes that any government official who calls for such changes ceases in his/her functions immediately and is banned from any public office for a decade. We might not like it or agree with it but that is what the Constitution says. For all intents and purposes former President Zelaya ceased to be President when he proposed the referendum and it's only the uncertainty of the Supreme Court and Congress about how to handle such an unusual situation that brought about the delay in his removal from office. My understanding of this constitutional language is that it was needed in 1982 when the country emerged from military dictatorships. Additionally, it is reasonably foreseable that a politician could use electoral fraud to remain in power if re-election was possible (does anyone remember the case of Almaguer in Dominican Republic?.)(User talk:catrachosoy) —Preceding undated comment added 03:18, 20 August 2009 (UTC).

Welcome to the discussion, user:catrachosoy. We, in the article, are not allowed to interpet the constitution of Honduras; it is considered original research ( WP:OR ). While one article of the constitution has a clause that says discussing modifying it is unconstitutional, you forget that the other constitutional guarantees are still in place, notably due process. One actually has to be convicted of a crime these days in Honduras. The penal code has switched from the old napoleonic code to the us/british system within the last several years. So no, there is no immediate removal according to Honduran constitutional scholars such as Orellana (a lawyer, professor, and Zelaya's defense minister) and Moncada Silva (a lawyer, and professor). Rsheptak (talk) 17:16, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I was asked recently who would discount a Honduran source on some matter related to this crisis - it seems to me that this is a clear example of discounting a Honduran source - the Supreme Court of the country. Zelaya's referendum says on it that it's non-binding, so into the article that interpretation goes, because Zelaya was acting as a public Honduran official, and thus is considered a natural source for this kind of information. The Supreme Court says the referendum itself is illegal, which clearly shows its belief that Zelaya meant the referendum to be binding. But the Supreme Court is considered 100% compromised by the events of the coup, so that source, which would have been clearly pertinent in the case of any other country's legal system, is chucked. This despite the fact that the Supreme Court was and is the group that is "allowed to interpret the constitution of Honduras" and matters relating to constitutional law in Honduras. Even on its worst day of arguably botching that job, it had that formal role assigned to it. By contrast, Zelaya, even on his best day of crusading for the people, never had that formal role. (*sigh* Sometimes I wonder if anyone sees why we're having this argument over and over again...) Zachary Klaas (talk) 19:09, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Zachary, stop jumping to conclusions for which you have no evidence. Illegal DOES NOT MEAN they thought it was binding. If they CSJ thought the law was binding, they would have said so in their ruling. Read it; it says nothing about it being binding. Neither did the lower court; it wasn't a factor in either decision. Both decisions are available in a document on
As for the CSJ being compromised, yes, they are somewhat compromised since they are both selected and appointed by the Congress, which modified the constitution to give them sole control over the courts a few years back. Prior to the ammendment, the President nominated, and the Congress approved CSJ appointments. Both systems are open to political manipulation, but the current system is more flawed than it was previously. However, that said, no one is ignoring their opinion, rather its being studied closely.
The Honduran constitution says Congress, not the CSJ, interprets the constitution. That's why Congress, not the court, keeps issuing decretos that are interpretations of what various clauses mean.
As for why we keep having this discussion, its because you keep going off half cocked without any supporting evidence. Make an argument, don't just espouse a position. Rsheptak (talk) 20:41, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you're having the argument over and over because you don't accept that there is a difference between what is considered a reliable source for the Honduran government itself, and what is considered a reliable souce for Wikipedia. The Supreme Court is clearly a primary source, i.e. the kind of source that should only ever be used extremely carefully (if at all) on Wikipedia. Secondary sources are much preferred. That doesn't mean that the New York Times (random example) is legally entitled to analyze the Constitution for deciding on laws; but it is for Wikipedia's purposes. As for your "illegal" -> "binding", sorry, but that's a complete non sequitur. --LjL (talk) 20:35, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
There does indeed seem to be a big difference between what's considered convincing in the world and what convinces people on Wikipedia.  :) Both points you make are well-taken as within-Wikipedia comments - I didn't find a source that said the CSJ thought the decision was binding (they invalidated the referendum, so presumably they didn't feel the need to state that this invalidated referendum would have been binding if not invalidated); likewise, it appears that I didn't understand that a "reliable source" (thus advocated as a source) can also be a "primary source" (and thus deprecated as a source). Chalk that one up to being comparatively new here. Putting on our "real world" hats now, though, I fail to see how "illegal -> binding" is a complete nonsequitur. Even if this referendum were considered nonbinding, its objective, if the referendum were not to be entirely pointless, was to lead the way to a binding vote on the same subject. I don't know if common sense is ever a justification for things on Wikipedia, but I really think people need to have some in this case. Zachary Klaas (talk) 22:38, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Common sense is important, but it's not the same as WP:SYNTH. The referendum may have been intended to "lead the way" to something more binding, but WP:Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, so we aren't concerned with that; we're concerned with whether this specific referendum was binding. I really can't see why something has to be binding in order to be illegal, anyway. A poll can be illegal without being in any way binding (as for instance, a poll about... uh, ok, I won't say, Godwin forbid). --LjL (talk) 22:43, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Also, help me out on where it says in the Honduran constitution that the Congress interprets constitutionality? Here's what I found:

ARTICULO 184.- Las Leyes podrán ser declaradas inconstitucionales por razón de forma o de contenido.

A la Corte Suprema de Justicia le compete el conocimiento y la resolución originaria y exclusiva en la materia y deberá pronunciarse con los requisitos de las sentencias definitivas.

ARTICULO 185.- La declaración de inconstitucionalidad de una ley y derogación, podrá solicitarse, por quien se considere lesionado en su interés directo, personal y legítimo:

1. Por vía de acción que deberá entablar ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia;

2. Por vía de excepción, que podrá oponer en cualquier procedimiento judicial; y

3. También el órgano jurisdiccional que conozca en cualquier procedimiento judicial, podrá solicitar de oficio la declaración de inconstitucionalidad de una Ley y su derogación antes de dictar resolución.

En los casos contemplados en los numerales 2) y 3), se elevarán las actuaciones a la Corte Suprema de Justicia siguiéndose el procedimiento hasta el momento de la citación para sentencia, a partir de lo cual se suspenderá el procedimiento judicial de la cuestión principal en espera de la resolución sobre la inconstitucionalidad.

My Spanish isn't 100%, I think what I see here is that it's the CSJ and not the Congress which decides what is or isn't constitutional. Is there another section of the constitution I'm missing? Zachary Klaas (talk) 22:47, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Look at Article 205, paragraphs 1, and I think 9 or 10. Congress interprets laws, and as a body can interpret the constitution. Rsheptak (talk) 05:09, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes 205 gives the Congress authority with a 2/3rds majority, to pass resolutions or decrees that in essence speak to their intent and interpretation of what the law means. This power is not deliberative as it may pertain to a particular case, but general as to what the law itself says. For a partucular case or event, Article 316 gives the Supreme Court the authority to declare what is constitutional or unconstitutional, and makes their power the final arbiter on the matter. Inherent in making a declaration that something is unconstitutional is the Supreme Court's interpretation of the law or constitution.DrivelEliminator (talk)
The articles you quote deal with unconstitutionality of laws, there is no mention to "bindness"; in fact, there is no mention to referenda at all ( and it is a primary source, wikipedia editors must not interpret laws). The point we are discussing here is whether "non-binding" is POV or not. In order to show that "non-binding" is POV, you must show secondary sources reporting it was binding otherwise "non-binding" is common knowledge, not POV. JRSP (talk) 23:30, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't know; I only know that deciding on constitutionality is usually one of the main reasons that Supreme Courts (sometimes called Constitutional Courts) exist at all. Being a bit lost in the talk page by now, however, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the issue of the referendum being binding or not. --LjL (talk) 23:33, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
There is no connection, a non-binding referendum can be unconstitutional, I know of two specific examples in my country, Venezuela: This year, a local referendum asking if a nation-wide law should be repealed and in 2003, a referendum asking people if the president should resign were declared unconstitutional. JRSP (talk) 00:04, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
How was that said in legal documents in Venezuela, I wonder? If a referendum is unconstitutional, why would any court even have to rule on whether it was binding or not? It's unconstitutional, and that makes it non-binding. This was my point about Honduras as well - the courts wouldn't rule on the referendum's binding or unbinding nature because it's an unconstitutional referendum, and such a referendum can't be binding once declared unconstitutional...that question is then moot. But the real question we should be asking is, if Zelaya et al. had been allowed to continue, and the referendum passed, does anyone really think this "opinion poll" wouldn't have been enforced as binding? Seriously? Does anyone? Zachary Klaas (talk) 04:31, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
No I don't think it would have been binding. Rsheptak (talk) 04:58, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
In the Venezuelan cases, the referenda were defined by the proponents as non-binding. JRSP (talk) 06:08, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
The binding or non-binding nature of a referendum comes with the proposal, arguing that "It's unconstitutional, and that makes it non-binding" misses the point, the Honduran referendum was defined as non-binding before the court rule. JRSP (talk) 06:22, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what made you think that the term "non-binding" on Wikipedia was about what courts decided, rather than what the referendum proponents simply described it as. I thought it clearly meant the latter. As for "whether it would have been enforced if it passed", again, WP:Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. --LjL (talk) 13:31, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Defined by whom? By participants on one side in this crisis, because saying so makes it seem like they are somehow not challenging a law they definitely were challenging. It's beyond any reasonable logic to say "We're having a vote about whether it's desirable to change the constitution, but of course, we have no real intention of changing the constitution, and this vote will not cause the constitution to be changed." If Wikipedians are comfortable living in a land in which logic does not apply, that's their concern, but somehow it seems to me that will affect the quality of the article. Zachary Klaas (talk) 13:35, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Ljl, could the article reflect simply that those on Zelaya's side called the referendum "non-binding" and those on Micheletti's side did not (for whatever reason) challenge this? This would respect those of us that think it's obvious nonsense that the referendum would have been non-binding, while stating your case that this status was never challenged. Zachary Klaas (talk) 13:39, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
No one has a source for an opinion on Micheletti's side saying "Yes, indeed, that referendum was certainly non-binding, although unconstitutional", do they? If so, that would establish that the "non-binding" nature of the referendum was not a contested point in this crisis. Zachary Klaas (talk) 13:44, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but the burden of proof to show it was a contested point (contested by people more notable than just Wikipedians, that is) is yours - not vice versa. I'm sure most readers of Wikipedia are smart enough to realize that referenda aren't usually made just because one is bored, but they are intended to have consequences one way or another; however, there is no need to make the sentence about this horribly long to include such an obvious remark. --LjL (talk) 13:50, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, but why can't we reflect that the referendum was called "non-binding" by Zelaya and this was not contested by Micheletti's government. It seems like the only reason that change wouldn't be acceptable is if people want to conclude from Zelaya's statement that it was non-binding that it therefore must have been so. We already have in the article that "[s]ources differ as to whether Zelaya was attempting to set the stage for his own reelection at some point in time", and I personally added two of those sources that differ from the standard pro-Zelaya view...and those sources remain on this page. But that doesn't mean that sources differ as to whether Zelaya's referendum was meant to be binding at some point in time? Again...seriously? Zachary Klaas (talk) 17:17, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
No. "Non-binding" simply means that they wouldn't necessarily heed the results of the referendum. That's all it means. It doesn't have to do with what might or might not happen at some point afterwards. It's a simple definition. I don't see why you're making such a big deal out of it. It's obvious that, since the referendum didn't actually take place, it's (non)-bindingness can only be decided from what its proponents said about it, as per the usual crystal ball thing. --LjL (talk) 17:41, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, since the referendum didn't actually take place, we can determine its non-bindingness from the fact that there was no referendum to be binding. Did you want to go that route?  :) Speculating in either direction about whether a non-existent referendum would have been binding would be equally "crystal-ball" like, don't you think? Zachary Klaas (talk) 18:23, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, long story short, a referendum is non-binding if it's declared as such by whoever sets it up. Even if the results of the referendum are later used for something concrete, the referendum was still technically non-binding. This seems rather obvious to me; clearly it isn't to you, so at this point I'd rather wait and hear others' opinions. --LjL (talk) 18:35, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I'm done talking as of this post (for this topic, anyway)...but let it be just said that I take issue with "whoever sets it up" in your previous comment, because that implies that "whoever" is legally empowered to hold the referendum, which is, of course, precisely what's at issue here. If you mean "whoever sets it up" = "the Honduran government", then that includes all three branches of government, not just Zelaya et al. in the executive branch. Zachary Klaas (talk) 19:39, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

What purpose does calling the referendum "non binding" have? One could just as easily call it the "illegal" referendum. Based on the June 25th indictment of charges against Zelaya, clearly the Honduran Supreme Court determined progressing with the referendum was a basis for crimes against the form of government. The Honduran Constitution provides the supreme court the right to interpret the constitution and make determinations of law. I don't see how the Honduran Supreme Court can rationally be considered compromised as a source. The OAS among others have met with the President of the court (i.e. Chief Justice), yet assiduously avoided talking with Micheletti to avoid an appearance of recognition. Since the matter of who they met with was important in conferring recognition, that Insulza met with the courts extends legitimacy and recognition. Ergo what the Honduran Courts have determined is of paramount importance as a source of fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 23 August 2009 (UTC) Forgot to sign in. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrivelEliminator (talkcontribs) 19:04, 23 August 2009 (UTC) The question of whether the referendum was binding or non-bunding is whether the question posed has the force of law if passed. The question that Zelaya intended to pose on June 28th was whether to have a 4th Ballot added to the November election that asked voters if they wanted to form a Constituent Assembly. The courts ruled it was not legal, as such it didn't exist in a lawful context to be either be binding or non-binding. After the courts ruled, the proper characterization of the referendum is "illegal" as in a question that can not be asked in the first place. In essence characterizing the referendum as non-binding is reflecting an irrelevant context, such as saying it was written in the spanish language.DrivelEliminator (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:09, 23 August 2009 (UTC).

Does anyone here have a problem with what this editor has said? That is a good summary of my position as well. Zachary Klaas (talk) 14:54, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I certainly do, if the claim, as I interpret it, is that calling this an "illegal referendum" would be less POV thatn calling it a "non-binding referendum". It obviously isn't. --LjL (talk) 15:01, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
A couple of editors have appeared, at least to me, to argue that there was no possible reason to term the referendum as non-binding other than to evade implications of illegality. However, in numerous parliamentary systems, non-binding referenda are commonly used to express public opinion to those who can effect changes in laws, which in this case would be Congress. It was asked above if anyone believes that if the referendum had passed it would not be treated as binding. I, for one, imagine that Zelaya might have used it as an argument for Congress to make changes but as someone said above, Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. "Non-binding" is descriptive, sourced, common, non-POV and included. That the proposed non-binding referendum was determined to be illegal at some point by the Supreme Court is also included. It was certainly not determined to be illegal from the moment it was proposed, so referring to it as "the illegal referendum" before that point would be inaccurate in addition to any other failings. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 22:22, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, if I remember correctly, "non-binding referendum" was a compromise settled upon after some people wanted "referendum" and others wanted "poll of public opinion". That's why the "non-binding" was deliberately put there in the first place: to make it clear it was intended to be a special kind of referendum. --LjL (talk) 22:31, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
AbbyKelleyite, are you suggesting there's a source that indicates that the referendum was at some point regarded as a legal consultation by the court system, but then something changed and it "became" illegal? What would that source be? I agree the referendum couldn't be considered "illegal" until the point when the courts invalidated it, but was there any source indicating that people had asked for there to be a referendum on a new constitution and the court system said "oh, go ahead, sure, that's perfectly legal"? Zachary Klaas (talk) 23:23, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I am glad to see that we are in agreement on the following: "I agree the referendum couldn't be considered 'illegal' until the point when the courts invalidated it." As for your queries, I am not aware of any pre-declaration of legality though I vaguely recall something from the Constitution about the president's power to hold polls, but as we agree on your quoted sentence, the point is, I believe, moot. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 14:13, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
See, this is why people aren't conciliatory more often in these discussions, because saying "I agree with you on this point" means people will portray what you've said as giving in on the whole argument, which I haven't. That point isn't moot, because supporters of Micheletti, as well as mere opponents of Zelaya, would overwhelmingly not agree that it's reasonable to portray the the referendum as "non-binding" (despite its illegality) because Zelaya's people say it was, but not "illegal" because the Micheletti government didn't say so before a certain point. Of course, functionally, the only way anyone here will believe me on this matter is when reporters dig into this stuff further, which I guess they haven't done yet because the media buy into the "Micheletti is culpable, therefore Zelaya is a saint" logic, and are printing his line. The only way Wikipedians will buy what I'm saying is if Zelaya continues to act self-righteous and provocative, instead of negotiating in good faith, because the media will only start questioning his motives if he visibly acts less "saintly" than they imagine him to be. For Honduras's sake, though, I hope he proves me wrong and negotiates in good faith. Anyway, I said I was going to drop this, and I'll try harder to live up to my word this time. Zachary Klaas (talk) 16:37, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Detention order chronology and verifiability

We have at least one claim from Jari Dixon Herrera Hernández, a lawyer with the Honduran Attorney General's office, that the arrest order was made on June 29. That's not a direct claim that the dates in the displayed contents (25 and 26 June) of the libertad digital versions of the documents, which were digitised (according to the file timestamps) on 2 July, were backdated rather than true dates, but since the digitised dates of those files are from 2 July and since neither of them were done in the Honduran time zone, i think we do have to be careful. Also, secret orders are necessarily unverifiable until they become public. Verifiability in the internet epoch depends very much on the date of publication, rather than the date of someone secretly giving a document to someone else. For these reasons, i have reworded the section and made the references more precise, including webcitation archival copies of the sources. The NYT article is now unavailable without registration, but i've kept it until someone can find a more reliable source.

The timestamps in the files, as indicated in the references, can be seen directly in the two files. In a console/terminal on any standard GNU/Linux computer, type "grep -ai date 1h6jmbgc6dxxhvhu8i2l.pdf" or "grep -ai date 2lhe8oc6gidv9pb2zm3n.pdf" where 1h6... and 2lh... are the two filenames — this will give you the two timestamps. In a GUI or in other operating systems, you should be able to "open" the file as an ordinary text file. Don't worry about the strange characters, just look for the string "Date". You'll see that:

  • the Rubi letter allegedly of 25 June is timestamped "20090702113502-05'00'"
  • the Valle letter allegedly of 26 June is timestamped "20090207105728+02'00'"

Both are close to standard ISO 8601 format, but not quite, since the time zones are written in a strange way, and ISO 8601 format puts "T" between the date and time. Also, the monthday part of the Valle letter can only reasonably be interpreted as daymonth, in US style. So these two timestamps in YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss timezone format are

  • Rubi 2009-07-02 11:35:02 UTC-5
  • Valle 2009-07-02 10:57:28 UTC+2
    • (date sent in http header by LD: 2009-07-02 10:58 UTC+2)

In the article, we cannot make inferences about why the two orders were sent by some (non-electronic?) means to somewhere in the UTC-5 time zone (Rubi letter) and somewhere in the UTC+2 time zone (Valle letter) rather than being scanned directly in the Honduras, and why people wishing to publicise the documents waited until 2 July to do this. However, thinking about the various POV inferences that might be made, until/if any RS make the same or other inferences, cannot hurt.

  • If you wish to believe that the dates in the displayed versions of the two files are genuine, then one possible explanation is the "secret" nature of the orders. Secret orders will take time to become public if at all - i.e. they are in principle unverifiable until someone/some people decide to make them public. Another factor is that people connected to the advocacy journalism online newspaper Libertad Digital, who have published the two pdf files, may have not had direct access to people involved in the coup, even though the six degrees of separation hypothesis implies that the chain between Libertad Digital and the Attorney-General and Supreme Court offices may have been quite short.
  • If you wish to believe that the two original documents were created on 29 June (as stated by the lawyer from the Attorney-General's office) and backdated to 25/26 June, and then a few days later sent to e.g. Miami (Rubi letter) and Madrid (Valle letter) respectively, where they were then converted to pdf files, then that is also self-consistent. In this case, LD could have received the Rubi letter as a pdf file from (e.g.) Miami by email, i.e. without a file system external date, and saved it locally with a new timestamp, and they converted the Valle letter from some other format to pdf themselves.

Does anyone have some reliable third-party sources, apart from the evidence that we already have so far, in favour of either version? Boud (talk) 02:04, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Can you be clear about which documents you're refering to so I can check my versions which may have come from other sources? Thanks. Rsheptak (talk) 06:24, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Never mind, I'm clear now. We can't KNOW when the paper versions of these documents were created. We don't have access to them. Given the falsifications of documents produced by the golpistas, I do have my doubts about the dating on some of these documents, but it doesn't matter. To pursue this would be interesting, but WP:OR and unusable in the article.
The dates on the documents in Libertad Digital are merely the upload dates, and only indicate the paper document was created by that date/time. I looked at some of my documents in the case, provided from various sources and find dates in the PDF files I have of anywhere from June 29 to July 2, but nothing earlier than that. Its clear from the PDFs that these are dates for the conversion of paper documents into PDFs, not dates for the original documents themselves.
My copies of these two documents (as PDFs) all date to July 2nd and were converted to PDF from paper on that date. Mine came from the CSJ website, and the FFAA website. FYI, my PDF of the Romeo Vasquez Velasquez decision downloaded off the UCD website dates to the day of the decision, June 25th, so some things got immediately turned into digital files. Rsheptak (talk) 07:19, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
i think we're in agreement here, except that the internal timestamps in the PDF files are not necessarily the dates of conversion from paper to PDF, they may be the dates of conversion from some other electronic format to PDF. There's also nothing stopping anyone from modifying the timestamps, unless gpg signatures etc etc are used - bytes are just bytes. So all we can say in the article is that the internal timestamps in the documents made public by such-and-such a reliable source are such-and-such. Libertad Digital is presumably willing to risk its credibility by de facto asserting that it obtained the file by a reliable method from the original source. does clearly risk its credibility. It de facto claims that it archived a copy of document X at a certain UTC-4 date/time that it states when you click on the URL (you may need to disable javascript in order to see this for non-html, e.g. pdf files), and that the content of document X at that time was what it shows you. Boud (talk) 14:31, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

human rights reports - HRW summary of the IACHR report

Someone quoted the US ABC's summary of the HRW summary of the IACHR report. S/he correctly (IMHO) put in the weasel word "reportedly", given that the information was dubious, but ABC did make the claim. Pending better sources, which i have now added, i don't think anyone can complain about the temporary weasel word hanging there.

In any case, i've added some sources that are a bit more serious than the US ABC. i have to admit that i am impressed by US ABC's not only failing to mention the context of HRW not-quite-spontaneous-summary-of-another-organisation's-research - that HRW only published their summary of the IACHR report after 93 academics and authors had to write an open letter to HRW wondering why on earth HRW had failed to say anything at all about Honduras since 8 July, but US ABC even tried to claim that HRW had commissioned the IACHR report. Since HRW had ignored the multiple reports published by many different international missions and failed to send its own researchers to Honduras, the irony is impressive. My guess is that US ABC interpreted this sentence in the HRW summary of the IACHR report: "In the aftermath of the June 28 coup d'état, Human Rights Watch and other local and international advocacy groups urged the Organization of American States (OAS) to address serious human rights abuses being committed in Honduras under the de facto government" to mean that HRW commissioned the report! Given the history of US–Latin-America relations in terms of military coups d'etat and human rights violations, the idea that the IACHR needed a mostly US-based human rights organisation to request it to carry out an investigative mission to Honduras is really quite absurd. And the idea that the report was commissioned by HRW is even more absurd. i don't think this is HRW's fault - saying that it "urged" the OAS is (i haven't checked the claim, but it's credible) quite reasonable. HRW didn't claim (at least not in its summary of the IACHR report) that it commissioned the report, it seems to me. For people who want to claim that ABC News (United States) is a reliable source, this is worth remembering. Its depth of "checking facts" is clearly quite shallow. It didn't even bother to mention "minor" details like the fact that the number of arbitrary detentions was estimated as 3500–4000 in a country of 8 million. Proportionally, that would be like the US military+police arbitrarily detaining about 130,000 to 150,000 US citizens following its deportation of Obama to Canada after Obama proposed a constituent assembly to rewrite the US Constitution. Surely that's a relevant difference from just arbitrarily detaining some undetermined number of citizens... (End-of-rant.) Boud (talk) 23:06, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

As she who added that ABC source and the cite to the IACHR report itself, I completely approve of your edits. It seemed highly unlikely that HRW commissioned the IACHR report but I didn't have direct proof otherwise and mostly wanted to add the report and some news account of it (albeit flawed), since it seemed to receive less english language news coverage than Amnesty International's report from a few days earlier. Thanks also for adding the other earlier reports to the new subsection. As an aside, the errors perpetrated by mainstream media lack of fact-checking are a continuing source of fascination for me. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 15:28, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Hour by hour breakdown of the days June 28 and 29

Can someone describe what happened on the days of the unseating (and possible removal) of Manuel Zelaya?

I am having problems with the word "removal" as it implies he was escorted to the border, and told to go over it, and once there, not to return. Is this really what happened? It boggles the imagination that the military, being aware of an arrest warrant, instead forcibly threw him out of the country. If there was actually an arrest warrant, why didn't they act on it, and secure his location, and put him in custody (presumably for prosecution, or eventual acquittal).

The main article might lead other people to wonder just what was going on. Maybe the word "removal" should be edited out of the main article, and replaced with the word "unseated" instead.

Another improvement that would help me understand what happened, is an hour by hour breakdown, and whether Manuel Zelaya actually fled the country, rather than stayed behind for prosecution. (talk) 06:45, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Temporary Suspension of Non-Immigrant Visa Services in Honduras says, "Temporary Suspension of Non-Immigrant Visa Services in Honduras... August 25, 2009... The OAS Foreign Ministers mission is in Honduras seeking support for the San Jose Accord, which would restore the democratic and constitutional order and resolve the political crisis in Honduras. In support of this mission and as a consequence of the de facto regime’s reluctance to sign the San Jose Accord, the U.S. Department of State is conducting a full review of our visa policy in Honduras. As part of that review, we are suspending non-emergency, non-immigrant visa services in the consular section of our embassy in Honduras, effective August 26. We firmly believe a negotiated solution is the appropriate way forward and the San Jose Accord is the best solution." This should be cited in the article. I cannot add it as I have been topic banned from political articles. Grundle2600 (talk) 19:39, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

In case a third party source is needed, states, "The Obama Administration has decided to block travel by the people of Honduras to the United States to punish their country for its Supreme Court’s refusal to back the return to power of Honduras’s ex-president and would-be dictator, Manuel Zelaya, who is backed by left-wing Latin American dictators like Castro and Chavez. The Obama Administration is now blocking the issuance of nearly all visas, meaning that a Honduran grandma who wants to visit her grandkids in the United States can’t." Grundle2600 (talk) 19:48, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

The first sentence of the article is wrong.

The first sentence of the article says, "The Honduran constitutional crisis began on 28 June 2009, when soldiers of the Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zelaya and exiled him to Costa Rica."

That's wrong.

It should say, "The 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis began when President Manuel Zelaya violated Article 239 of the Honduran constitution by trying to change the law to allow himself a second term, an action which, according to Article 239, automatically requires that the President be ousted from office."

I cannot change it myself as I have been topic banned from political articles.

Grundle2600 (talk) 02:17, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Judging from the above, I cannot say I disagree with the topic ban. --LjL (talk) 11:50, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
it does, however, speak to the continued inaccuracy of this article. [[User:Ed Wood's Wig|]] (talk) 13:39, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, it does point to the military's action alone as the starting point. There were many points that could be considered the starting point, whether the President's action, the Supreme Court's action, the Congress's action, or the Attorney General's action. Of course, June 28th is of particular importance, but the first sentence should be more accurate by being more ambiguous, as ironic as it may seem, whether than means removing "began" and replacing it with "culminated". If we need a beginning date, then "it began in June and culminated with the President's removal on June 28th" or similar. Mdlawmba (talk) 14:53, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
LjL, you said, "Judging from the above, I cannot say I disagree with the topic ban." Why? What rule does my suggested edit violate? I am trying very hard to obey the rules, and not get another topic ban after this one expires, so please explain what rule my proposed edit violates. Thank you. Grundle2600 (talk) 15:30, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
No rule. I'm just unsurprised that someone suggesting such an against-consensus change without either having checked past talk page history or having ignore it (since this sort of thing was discussed a lot, and there's lots of related talk page material on this and other articles, and a lot of people have been trying to push original interpretations of the Constitution and, for obvious reasons, failed to convince anyone their research belongs to Wikipedia) would easily get banned. I do suggest you rethink your proposal. --LjL (talk) 17:13, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I looked through the archives and did not see a discussion on this first sentence, at least in its current form. I never considered changing it, considering there is no lack of other sentences in need of change, but since it is the first sentence maybe it does deserve a little more attention. BTW, a ban from Wikipedia is fairly arbitrary in my opinion. I'm sure everyone has read the stories. It seems that anyone of us could receive the penalty if we changed the wrong article with the wrong type of people editing. Call it a lack of faith in the system, and I'm not familiar with the other editor, but I'm not jumping to any conclusions. So, let's move on.Mdlawmba (talk) 17:44, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
We are NOT going to discuss article 239 again, read the archives of this talk page for an education. That said, while I understand the sentiment about the events of June 28th not being the commencement of overall events around this topic; it is the event that triggered a constitutional crisis. Before that its just a political spat. Still I don't like the sentence and would be open to a discussion about how to rework it. Rsheptak (talk) 17:46, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Here's one attempt at a more time-inclusive change: "The Honduran constitutional crisis comprises the 28 June 2009 ouster and exile of President Manuel Zelaya to Costa Rica by soldiers of the Honduran military and the events of constitutional interpretation and controversy that preceded and followed the ouster." I tried to make that last phrase, in particular, as NPOV as I could. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 19:45, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I'm sure after time wears on this article will become more neutral, and we won't have to write like lawyers drafting a contract for GE, but this seems less shocking to the POV nerves than the current sentence. Two thumbs up. Mdlawmba (talk) 21:11, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I went ahead and made the change. If anyone objects, please edit it or back it out as needed. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 23:06, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

For more hints about the introduction/lead, see WP:LEAD. Incidentally, my common sense interpretation of the section Wikipedia:LEAD#Citations is that normally, all the citations in the lead/introduction should be repeat citations <ref name="blabla" /> of citations that are given in full in the source version of the sections of the main text. (The full citation does not need to be the first one in the text.) This should also make the source text of the lead/introduction a little more readable than if it contained full bibliographic info. Boud (talk) 21:57, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Zelaya in Honduras?

I just thought I'd drop in on the gang here to try and head off a debate I assume will take place. Reliable sources are divided over whether Zelaya is actually in Tegucigalpa right now. The BBC and the CBC, for example, express considerable doubt that he's actually there. CNN, on the other hand, accepts Zelaya's claim that he is actually there. Xinhua (not a very reliable source) says "reports" say that he is.

Anyway, just in case someone gets it in their head to write content along the lines of "Zelaya says he's in Tegucigalpa now, so he therefore must be" - reliable sources may disagree about that. Zachary Klaas (talk) 19:22, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Xinhua is generally reliable for anything not immediately related to Chinese objectives.Simonm223 (talk) 21:27, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, the trick is figuring out when things are immediately related to Chinese objectives.  :) Zachary Klaas (talk) 12:54, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I now stand corrected - the BBC now claims to have interviewed him by phone from the Brazilian embassy. Zachary Klaas (talk) 21:17, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Now Reuters says the U.S. government is confirming that Zelaya is back. Zachary Klaas (talk) 21:23, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
He's back and gave press conferences on TV and radio from the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa. He called people in Honduras around 10 am, Tegucigalpa time. Rsheptak (talk) 01:05, 22 September 2009 (UTC)


The structure of this article seems quite poor. As a reader with little familiarity with the crisis, I found the article difficult to follow. The section on "Coup d'état" includes descriptions of the coup itself, but then, under the same heading, goes on to include several subsections describing various abuses allegedly committed by the Micheletti government and a subsection on opposition to the Micheletti government. Then, under a new top-level section heading, we get "public opinion," and only then comes a top-level heading called "Events after 28 June," despite the fact that almost all of the alleged human rights abuses and opposition described in the "Coup d'état" section happened after June 28.

I recommend a more chronological organization, with the "events after 28 June" section moved immediately after the "Coup d'état" section and the subsections on alleged Micheletti government abuses moved there and placed in chronological order to the extent possible (since many of the events overlap a strict chronology is obviously impossible). For example, the bit of the article that says "protests against the coup began almost immediately" should remain near the top of this section. If chronology is just hopeless, perhaps there should be a new section called something like "Alleged Abuses by the Micheletti government"? Elliotreed (talk) 15:39, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

AFAIK, most of the people in Honduras opposed to the coup d'etat refer to the Micheletti de facto government as "golpe de estado" or "golpistas" - a youth who shouted "golpistas" at police was shot dead by them just a few days ago - . So it's difficult not to put many of these sections in the "coup d'etat" section. This is unfortunately forced by the previous compromise of using "constitutional crisis" in the title and "coup d'etat" as a major section heading.
As for human rights violations documented by the local and international human rights organisations, these normally happen as part of any coup d'etat, until a new coup d'etat or sometimes real or pseudo elections take place. There's also not much point listing all of the individual mass arrest events - 3500-4000 arbitrary arrests properly documented would overwhelm the list of mostly international politics events listed in the "after 28 June" section.
On the other hand, a restructuring or retitling (at least) would be good. My feeling is that the most natural (least OR/POV) would be to change the "events after 28 June" title, though i'm not sure what to. Something like "local protests, international reactions, attempted mediation by Insulza and then Arias, Zelaya's initial return attempts, from 28 June to 20 September 2009", though of course that's too long and cumbersome. Maybe the Zelaya return section could become a full section too, since it seems to be getting a lot of local and international attention.
A straight chronological listing of events can go in the chronology article, though of course this article should still read more or less chronologically IMHO.
Hope this helps rather than confuses... Boud (talk) 01:59, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

CRS report

The US Congressional Research Service has a report that the ouster of Zelaya was allowed under the Honduras constitution. Here's a link: (talk) 20:57, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

There are some rather serious concerns regarding that report. See the analysis Serious errors of fact in CRS LL File No. 2009-002965 on Honduras by Prof. Rosemary Joyce, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences and Chair of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Boud (talk) 11:35, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
That analysis may or may not qualify as a reliable source. The CRS report obviously does, and should be referenced. Then we should decide whether to reference criticisms of it.MikeR613 (talk) 16:10, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually, if you look, its not a CRS report, its a resport by a Senior Foreign Law specialist with the Law Library of Congress. The CRS disclaims it. It has serious problems, but yes, you can cite it in the same way other "Opinions" can be cited against it. Rsheptak (talk) 16:18, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I might add that if you look at the Law Library of Congress report, you'll notice it makes reference to phone conversations with guillermo perez cadalso to confirm the novel thesis it comes up with. Perez Cadalso is a golpista who testified before the US congress on the rightness of the coup. Tainted scholarship. Rsheptak (talk) 19:41, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Another serious flaw in the report was to say that Micheletti was next in line. While it is true that the vice president resigned 6 months before to concentrate on his election to be president his successor Vice President Aristides Mejia then became next in line under the Honduran constitution. The report makes no mention of this merely mentioning that the VP had resigned. Cathar11 (talk) 17:17, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Not quite...Mejia became the Vice President Minister, because there is no process for replacing a vice president if they die or quit, and now, there is no Vice President in the constitution due to a CSJ decision in November 2008. Its back to a president and 3 designates.

Extrajudical executions

Unless the sources specifically use this term, this is an OR violation of the most egregious type. People involved in insurrection that are killed while participating are not being executed. When a police officer kills in the line of duty, it is not an execution. This is extremely biased language and should be fixed. Any suggestions on how to do it?--Die4Dixie (talk) 13:25, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Being that the article redirects to Extrajudicial killings, I think that renaming it to that might be the best thing we could do now. "Execution" has perhaps too strong a connotative meaning. Even then, the text doesn't quite substantiate extrajudicial; it is all very suspicious, though... but we can't have a title that reads "suspicious killings". I'm thinking extrajudicial is the best word between "assassination" and "suspicious deaths". You got any ideas? Xavexgoem (talk) 14:42, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
High profile deaths? Xavexgoem (talk) 14:49, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
How about the neutral "Deaths" that does not require OR violations. If the source does not label them as such, neither can we.--Die4Dixie (talk) 16:59, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was no consensus  Skomorokh, barbarian  10:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps "Presidential Crisis" or "Presidential Dispute" instead of "Political Crisis"? "Presidential" is surely NPOV (this is about the Presidency, after all) and it's much more specific than the hopelessly vague "Political." Elliotreed (talk) 19:36, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
What serves to make the title "2009 Honduran political crisis" precise and descriptive are the terms "2009," "Honduran" and "crisis." Add the word "political" and we've got a title that is obviously about the events in question. There's nothing vague about it.--Heyitspeter (talk) 17:50, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • oppose. This is much more than a political crisis, it's a coup d'etat used to try to prevent a political solution. In other words, soldiers with guns have been used to "solve" the political dispute between elite and poor Hondurans instead of using "politics", i.e. discussion, meta-discussion on "what-the-rules-should-be", i.e. a constituent assembly has been prevented (in the short term) by the use of guns, the threat of the use of guns, and systematic human rights violations by those who de facto took power. In other words, a better title would be 2009 Honduran use-of-the-military and thousands-of-arbitrary-arrests and closing down of the media in order to prevent a constituent assembly crisis. However, that's a bit long. The short form would be 2009 Honduran coup d'etat. That's how historians have talked about this sort of situation in Latin America for many similar events during the XX-th century and the two previous Latin American coups d'etat in the XX1-st century. Boud (talk) 01:27, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
    • comment - i think that someone should first give a good list of links to the points raised the previous time this was discussed. Boud (talk) 01:27, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Neutral - I think either "constitutional crisis" or "political crisis" would be a valid title. With respect to "coup d'etat", I am curious how many of the previous situations historians referred to as such involved the country's supreme court authorizing the military to replace the president with the #2 from his own party due to the president's unconstitutional actions. Rlendog (talk) 01:53, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Chile, 1973. Which is pretty much universally understood as a coup d'etat. A military overthrowing a government is a coup, whether it's a caretaker coup, a veto coup, or anything else. I don't understand the refusal of this site to use the actual description of events. Anything except "coup d'etat" is POV on the side of the perpetrators. -- (talk) 12:46, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Chile, 1973 is not at all comparable to this situation. In Chile, 1973 a military leader took over as the head of the government. In this situation, the miltary's only involvement was to enforce the Honduran supreme court's order to remove Zelaya due to Zelaya's constitutional violations and replace Zelaya with the constitutionally valid #2. The military's role was no different than if a US president was constitutionally impeached and removed from office, and the appropiate US forces enforced the impeachment by allowing the vice-president to take over. I think the POV is on the other foot. Rlendog (talk) 20:21, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. The only RS for this being a coup or a constitutional transition would be those whose job it is to interpret that country´s constitution Has the Supreme court of Honduras called it a coup in any legal opinion?--Die4Dixie (talk) 07:31, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • oppose. We've discussed and rejected such a change before; see the archive of this talk page. Rsheptak (talk) 19:44, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. It doesn't matter what you did before I wasn't here. The Title 2009 Honduran political crisis is certainly more neutral. Da'oud Nkrumah 03:35, 1 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dnkrumah (talkcontribs)
  • Neutral - it's worth understanding that both sides see this as a constitutional crisis, between the current one and one that a constituent assembly would provide. Changing the title to "political" would certainly reflect what's been written, but the kernel here remains the constitution. I used to be of the opinion that the folks wanting to keep it at "constitution" were equivocating, and using the word to hide the "bigger picture". When you realize that pro-Zelaya or otherwise anti-coup and pro-constituent assembly are as deeply concerned about the constitution, you realize that the bigger picture is the constitution. Long short short: I don't think it makes a difference one way or another. Xavexgoem (talk) 14:48, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support, clearly this isn't a Constitutional issue as we know it. Political is much more accurate. 15:25, 2 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ed Wood's Wig (talkcontribs)
  • Strongly oppose This is more than a political crisis. It is a crisis caused by interpretation of the Honduras constution and a desire by some groups to alter it. The appointment of Micheletti as successor instead of the vice president shows a violation by the de facto government of succession rules laid down in the constitution. The constitution is being used to avoid altering the political status quo. It really should be called the 2009 Coup d'etat because that is what it is univerally recognised by governments throughout the world. This has already been argued ad nauseum and the present name was the compromise. Cathar11 (talk) 16:36, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Ed Wood's Wig seems to feel there's ample discussion on this talk page to merit putting an UNBALANCED tag in the article. I don't see it, so I'm inviting him, and anyone else who feels that way to open a discussion of the points they feel are unbalanced. Lets try and maintain a separate discussion of each point. Rsheptak (talk) 22:22, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

  • <Fill in first point here>
  • <Another Point>
  • <Still Anohter Point>

Summermoondancer: please remove the name Martin Florencio Rivera Barrientos that was killed the 2nd of August. His family has repeatedly requested that his name not be used as a death related to the Honduran crisis because he was NOT killed due to the crisis. He was murdered by a 15 year old that he told to stop smoking pot. Here is the proof. Please respect the family and their wishes about NOT using this person´s name since doing so is dishonest and already refuted since the guilty person has already been identified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Summermoondancer (talkcontribs) 02:27, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I see you've already taken care of this. Thanks for the clarification, and the source. Rsheptak (talk) 03:26, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

RFC: Is The Coup D'Etat heading violating PoV?

Sorry to bring this up again but I'm on my last revert protecting this compromise solution from last month's endless debate. Can we get eyes on this?Simonm223 (talk) 21:17, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

You just beat me to that last revert. The title and section heading were a combined compromise hashed out after much digital ink was spilled. I "vote" for not reopening the issue. Abby Kelleyite (talk) 21:24, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't need to be reopened, and changes it without even discussing it here first should be treated as bad-faith disruption, as the warning comment in the source is very clear. --LjL (talk) 21:30, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Its a closed topic and I see no reason to re-open it, and anybody who wants to complain it violates NPOV also should know about WP:3RR which the offending user has violated overwhelmingly today. Just FYI, reverting for the sake of maintaining a consensus state in the face of vandalism is one of the exceptions to WP:3RR I believe. Rsheptak (talk) 22:34, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Vandalism? It is too far to call a change a vandalism. This kind of accusation is worse than foul words. If the topic can't be reopened, what kind of change can be treated as good-faith? --Kittyhawk2 (talk) 03:30, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll remember that in future rather than resorting to an otherwise pointless RFC.Simonm223 (talk) 03:25, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
This issue has spilled over a little into Honduran general election, 2009. i have done most of the editing there, so it would be better for someone else than me to revert (or confirm if you disagree with my judgment) the recent edit discussed at Talk:Honduran_general_election,_2009#constitutional_crisis_vs_coup_d.27etat_NPOV. Please go over to that talk page, and add a comment if you wish to and/or edit the article. Probably best not to edit the article without adding at least a brief comment in the discussion section. That editor may not be aware of the previous discussions. Boud (talk) 20:40, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I propose the name 'Detention, Forced Exile and Constitutional Crisis' instead of "Coup d'etat". The word "Coup d'etat" has two meanings, one is on cutting off the head of state (on non-democratic states), and the other is cutting of an accepted constitutional order (on democratic states). The word "self coup" is used when a head of state try to abolish execution of a key clause of accepted constitutional order. It shows that the word "coup" is ambiguous here and is very misleading, because the major point of concern is the constitutional order, not the head of state. All parties maintain that Honduras should adopt or return to democratic constitutional order, and the only question is "how", and particularly on what is the way, respecting the rule of law, to reinforce the constitution article of limiting presidential office term.--Kittyhawk2 (talk) 03:56, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm strongly in favor of this. Ed Wood's Wig (talk) 22:01, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Please read up the previous debates about the name of the article. Unless there are significant new arguments in addition to previous arguments in the debate whether this article should be "2009 Honduran coup d'etat" or rather "2009 Honduran constitutional crisis", then there is no point trying to rename the section. The section name was a compromise to avoid an ugly compromise title such as "2009 Honduran constitutional crisis/coup d'etat" or an eternal move-war on the article title.
Regarding "all parties" - please remember that the large numbers of typically (but not only) poorer Hondurans who are campaigning to have a constituent assembly also constitute an important party in the issue, and they continue to use the term "coup d'etat". If Western media have stopped using the term coup d'etat (mainly because they are not saying anything at all now?), that doesn't change the fact that it was used in the past, nor does it change the fact that the US State Department has just a few weeks declared that it has "determined" that a coup d'etat occurred, nor does it change the usage by many governments around the world.
i do not see any use in considering a title like 2009 Detention, Forced Exile and Constitutional Crisis in Honduras for this article. The compromise of "constitutional crisis" in the title and "coup d'etat" as a major section is probably the only consensus that is likely to be obtainable (except for the reverse: coup d'etat as the article title and constitutional crisis as part of the background and situation during the coup d'etat government; however, the amount of talk and energy investment required for this reverse solution would be better spent in other ways). Boud (talk) 21:56, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I have read the discussions. I took Kittyhawk's statement as a comment on one of the subject headers, not the title of the page. Ed Wood's Wig (talk) 01:25, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
The subject header "Coup d'etat" and the title of the page are fundamentally linked as a solution for an otherwise-unsolvable disagreement. There's a yellow box at the top of this talk page, saying "Important Note: The presence, or absence, of the words "coup d'état" in the title and/or section titles of this article is a controversial subject, and has generated considerable discussion. Please do not make any changes in this regard without first discussing them here and allowing some time for response. The most stable compromise has been to have the words in a first-level section head, but not in the article title, as the article's focus extends further. ..." i did not put that summary box there, and i did not participate in the original discussions. i did make a comment that i thought might be new, but it wasn't seen as strong enough to re-open the old discussions. My general perception is that the yellow box is consistent with the parts of the talk page that i read.
Maybe someone could find section links and archive links (is some of this talk page archived?) so that people new to the debate can go more quickly to the points of the previous debate and see if there if things have changed enough to reopen the debate.
For example, if the huge majority of governments around the world who considered this to be a coup d'etat withdrew their statements (does someone have a RS for this?) and if there was serious evidence that Zelaya was not forcibly removed from Honduras by the Honduran military (any RS's? e.g. maybe it was a hoax, like claims that NASA never really sent men to the Moon), and if there was serious evidence that the massive popular resistance by ordinary Hondurans decided to withdraw its usage of the term "el golpe de estado", then maybe this would be enough to reopen the debate.
Again, i don't see how talk by world governments of aiming for constitutional government could change the importance of a coup d'etat having taken place. This is the third case of military in a Latin American democracy removing the elected president this decade - it's not clear to me that it's so much softer than all the previous coups d'etat in Latin America over many decades - some were quite bloody, some were less bloody, with various levels of human rights violations committed by various big-business–military–president–court–congress coalitions giving more or less apparent control to civilians. In any case, this is a wikipedia article, not a wikinews article. The most recent political aims of international governments or Honduran groups of various demographic sectors are not necessarily the most important pieces of knowledge for this article. Boud (talk) 20:52, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
The issue is reality, unfortunately. That we got it wrong in July is no reason to continue getting it wrong in October. Ed Wood's Wig (talk) 14:22, 5 October 2009 (UTC)