Truth for Justice: Investigating the Honduras Coup

By Eliza

Jul 8, 2011 12:45pm

ABC News' Eliza Larson reports:

Members of Honduras’ Truth Commission were in Washington yesterday to provide details into their investigations of the 2009 coup and press the US government for further information.

The motto of the organization is “sin verdad, no hay justicia” – which means:  without truth, there is no justice.

Honduras’ president Manuel Zelaya was removed from office in 2009 and has been living in exile in the Dominican Republic.

The commission, working with investigative journalists and the Center for Constitutional Rights, has submitted 300 Freedom of Information requests in the US related to the coup in search of government documents that can shed light on the government overthrow.

They have also brought court action against the Department of Defense and the CIA for failure to divulge truthful documents. Commission members say that litigation has resulted in the release of 287 documents in addition to those already received directly from the FOI request.

Analysis of these documents and more have allowed the commission to investigate the coup and the roles played by governmental and private, military and civil forces in Honduras and U.S., according to commission member Craig Scott, Professor of Law at York University.

“It’s a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle,” Scott said.

The Truth Commission’s members say that they, along with former President Zelaya, have been receiving threats while they have conducted these investigations. Scott said the commission members and Zelaya have been targets of dozens of incidents of surveillance, intimidation, harassment and threats. He listed specific examples of members who were kidnapped, beaten, or shot at to prove the severity of the attacks.

Last Spring Zelaya told reporters he won't return to Honduras for fear of being killed.

Zelaya said he believes he is in danger because "there are people who want to liquidate me and are still alive, and they have great power."

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