Oscar Arias to Mediate Talks Between Zelaya and Micheletti

Oscar Arias, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for helping to end years of war and political violence between the Central American nations, has agreed to facilitate a U.S.-backed effort to resolve the conflict between the ousted but democratically elected Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, and the interim government headed by Roberto Micheletti:

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Tuesday accepted a U.S.-backed effort by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to mediate an end to the political crisis in Honduras and said talks with his rivals would begin on Thursday.

“Our first meeting is set for Thursday, in Costa Rica,” Zelaya, told Honduran radio from Washington.

In Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, who was appointed president by Honduran lawmakers after the June 28 coup, also said he would attend Thursday’s talks under Arias’ mediation.

Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner with experience in solving Central American conflicts, faces mediating between sharply opposed positions.

Zelaya said his reinstatement as president was nonnegotiable.

“What this is is not a negotiation, this is the planning of the exit of the coup leaders,” he said.

But Micheletti maintained his position that Zelaya could not return as president. “We’re not going to negotiate, we’re going to talk,” he said. “We’re going into these talks because we’re interested in having peace and tranquility in Honduras.”

Zelaya, whose ouster was sparked by his efforts to change presidential term limits and by his political shift to the left, spoke after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

She urged him to negotiate rather than try to force his way back into the country.

Here is an interesting article byMiami Herald reporter Frances Robles. Robles interviewed Honduras’s top military attorney about the events of June 28, and got some eye-popping admissions:

The military officers who rushed deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya out of the country Sunday committed a crime but will be exonerated for saving the country from mob violence, the army’s top lawyer said.

In an interview with The Miami Herald and El Salvador’s elfaro.net, army attorney Col. Herberth Bayardo Inestroza acknowledged that top military brass made the call to forcibly remove Zelaya — and they circumvented laws when they did it.

It was the first time any participant in Sunday’s overthrow admitted committing an offense and the first time a Honduran authority revealed who made the decision that has been denounced worldwide.

”We know there was a crime there,” said Inestroza, the top legal advisor for the Honduran armed forces. “In the moment that we took him out of the country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime. Because of the circumstances of the moment this crime occurred, there is going to be a justification and cause for acquittal that will protect us.”

Inestroza also told Robles that the military would not take orders from a leftist government. And, despite his own acknowledgment that the forcible removal of Zelaya from office was not lawful, Inestroza, amazingly, said, “… [I]t’s very difficult for someone who has dedicated his whole life to a country and an institution to see, from one day to another, a person who is not normal come and want to change the way of life in the country without following the steps the law indicates.”

One Response to “Oscar Arias to Mediate Talks Between Zelaya and Micheletti”

  1. Maricela Mondragón says:

    I don´t believe in this dialogue process. Óscar Arias shows us what is his position when hi was agree with expulse Honduras of American States Organization, condening the Zelaya expulsation and trying the reinstatement of Zelaya as presidente, without sees the reasons of the other part. I think is not place in America continent with an impatial perception of this issue. Now every country in America wants to condenate Honduras to Zelaya’s returning and beign forever a Hugo Chávez colony. Zelaya is a liar, he doesn’t respected Honduras lows, but he has many allies in América, it is very sad. My hope is that Micheletti stays firm in our position. I don’t see a criminal like Zelaya as president again.

    Elia M. M.

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