WILPF Statement on the Coup d’etat in Honduras

8 July 2009

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Statement on coup d’état in Honduras

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom extends our solidarity and support to the people of Honduras, whose rights and security have been compromised by the coup d’état on June 28, and to all those struggling for democracy and freedom in Honduras.

The illegal expulsion of President Manuel Zelaya on June 28 by the armed forces in Honduras is an act that violates the Honduran people’s right to self determination, as expressed in the results of the presidential election. An elected president can only be removed from office in accordance with the established constitutional order. This coup d’état thereby violates one of the most fundamental human rights, as expressed in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter. These events have already proven to have seriously damaged the country’s diplomatic relations and will continue to do so unless actions are taken to restore democracy in Honduras.

The recent events pose a serious threat to the human security of the people of Honduras. A coup d’état is an act that promotes further militarism. It represents a development towards a more militarized society, where violence and force, instead of legitimacy and open dialogue, determine power. This is a perilous development for all people in Honduras, but especially dangerous for women and children.

The coup d’état on June 28 seriously compromises the hard-won democracy in Honduras, both directly, as the new military regime is illegitimate and unrepresentative of the population, and in the long term, as the democratization process in the country is now hampered by deteriorating social trust and disbelief in democracy. The possibility of civil society engagement with government in an open and honest democratic dialogue disappears when the threat and use of force replaces legitimate representation. Women, who already lack possibilities of influencing decision-making, will have even greater difficulties in expressing their opinions and raising issues of their concerns.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom urge that the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya be reinstated in Honduras and that the unconditional rights of the Honduran people be respected. We also encourage all involved parties to support the creation of a process of national dialogue in Honduras that will help build and strengthen this respect.