Porfirio Lobo was sworn in as the new president of Honduras, seven months after military-backed politicians deposed President Manuel Zelaya. At his inauguration, Lobo signed an amnesty decree for Zelaya, who after escaping to the Brazilian Embassy is now in the Dominican Republic.
President Lobo declared in his inauguration speech, “The Honduran family begins [the process] of reconciliation.” Amnesty International argues it starts with addressing the nation’s human rights abuses that escalated in the seven month period of having no president. The organization has published a list of recommendations for the new government which claims that no one has been held accountable for the violations that include “police killings, arbitrary detentions, beatings and ill-treatment in detention, sexual abuse of women and girls, harassment of journalists, judges and activists.”
Amnesty’s recommendations for the new government include:
- Ensure immediate, independent and thorough investigations are conducted into all reports of human rights violations
- Reject any political or legal measures, such as amnesty provisions which could prevent reparation of human rights violations
- Improve policing methods by ensuring police officials are trained and accountability mechanisms are strengthened in accordance with the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials
- Establish a comprehensive national plan for human rights, [addressing] discrimination and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children, indigenous and LGBT people, and it should be developed with the participation of all sectors of civil society
Read the full report, including recommendations and accounts of abuses here.