White House takes two different stands for Mexico and Honduras and neither one makes sense

LatinaLista — Ever since Honduran President Mel Zelaya was unceremoniously removed from office by a military junta, the Obama administration has joined with other world leaders in demanding the Honduran government reinstate Zelaya.

Nominee for Mexico’s Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez
Yet, when it comes to Mexico’s President Calderon’s appointment of Arturo Chavez Chavez, former Chihuahua state prosecutor during the 1990s, as the country’s next Attorney General, a position that will have great influence over how the millions of dollars supplied by the US for Mexico’s fight against the drug cartels will be spent, the administration says nothing.
Chavez Chavez hails from the region of Mexico where drug cartels were literally born and have flourished since the 1990s – in Chihuahua – the state where Ciudad Juarez is located. Though Juarez has now become infamous as the bloody battleground of rival drug cartels, in the 90s it was known as the killing fields where young girls disappeared on their way to work in the maquiladoras only to be found slaughtered and stuffed in barrels or buried under sandy lots.
No real progress was made in finding the demented creatures who did this. Also, it’s important to remember that it was during this time also the drug cartels were forming and were showing signs of activity in Chihuahua as elsewhere in the country.
Given the “inability” to find and name the parties responsible for these gruesome deaths and how the early drug activity in this region was allowed to take root, the White House would do well to examine Calderon’s choice for Attorney General since he’ll be holding the purse strings once the money is released into the country.
It’s ironic that the Obama administration feels Mexico’s choice of Attorney General is an internal affair but doesn’t take that same stand in Honduras with a man whom the majority of Hondureños feel have betrayed them.
It doesn’t seem to matter, or maybe it’s not known, that Honduras doesn’t have an impeachment process so the only way to force the removal of a President is to “escort” him out via military guard. Or that in a public poll, 85% of the people said Zelaya being back in the country doesn’t help the political situation. Or that the whole reason Zelaya was overthrown was for the crimes he is known to have committed and his defiance of a ruling from his country’s Supreme Court.
Even the Wall Street Journal in an editorial published today had the following to say:

Every major Honduran institution supported the move, even members in Congress of his own political party, the Catholic Church and the country’s human rights ombudsman. To avoid violence the Honduran military escorted Mr. Zelaya out of the country. In other words, his removal from office was legal and constitutional, though his ejection from the country gave the false appearance of an old-fashioned Latin American coup.

Even with all these facts, the Obama administration can say with a straight face that Honduras should reinstate a corrupt leader.
I guess it isn’t hard after all to see why our administration is saying nothing about Chavez Chavez.

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3 Comments

  1. Indiana Bob said:

    Hi Marisa,
    Got to disagree with you on your statement that Zalaya is a “man whom the majority of Hondureños feel have betrayed them.”
    Here is a poll done by the NY times (link on my name)
    “And a new CID-Gallup poll showed the extent of the polarization there. According to a face-to-face survey of some 1,200 people, 46 percent of Hondurans disagreed with Mr. Zelaya’s ouster and 41 percent said they approved of it. Those surveyed were also evenly divided on Mr. Zelaya himself, with 31 percent saying they had a positive image of him and 32 percent a negative one.”
    That is hardly a definitive rejection of Zalaya. I realize you included another poll in your article, but that is a different question (unless that is what you meant by betrayal).
    By the way, where did that poll come from? I am willing to be convinced that my position on the coup is wrong, but that will be a tall order since I believe in small d democracy. If Z tried to stay past his elected term, then if there wasn’t an impeachment option, maybe then remove him, but don’t engineer a coup because he called for a non-binding resolution on being able to run for office again. And it is my understanding that he wasn’t proposing that he be able to stay in office, just that he (or anyone else) be able to run for another term in the future.
    Again, I really enjoy your articles, you are a daily read for me, but I’m not sure I agree with your point about Z, although I do agree with your opinion about Chavez.
    Thanks,
    ps You really seem to attract quite the anti-immigrant crowd on this blog. That’s fine, I enjoy engaging these folks, but it is striking the ferocity of some of them, and I commend you for allowing that side of the argument to be heard, even thought I don’t agree with them. You seem to enjoy participating in the marketplace of ideas, and that is what democracy is all about!

  2. laura said:

    Actually my impression is that Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted because the twelve rich families who run the country didn’t like that he increased the minimum wage, and did a few other things that may have made them a little less rich … but may have made the poor people a lot better off. I hope those poor people – and he – prevail in this standoff.

  3. Marisa Treviño said:

    You know Indiana Bob and Laura, ever since I first wrote about the ouster of Zelaya and took the opposing viewpoint, I have heard how wrong I am. Yet, in those first few hours after Zelaya was thrown out of the country and after hearing about the crimes that Zelaya committed, his intense friendship with Chavez, the reports in several newspapers of the massive marches in support of the new government, I just did not and still do not believe that this guy is who he wants the world to believe that he is. It’s more of a gut instinct I have but it’s based on talking to people in Honduras and Venezuela, who are friends and contributors to Latina Lista — and they all tell me the same story. Basically, that in their views, Chavez was mentoring Zelaya and Zelaya had actually done more harm to the country. As one blogger wrote me, the minute Zelaya raised the minimum wage, businesses had to start laying off people because they couldn’t afford to pay them and so now the unemployment rate in the country has skyrocketed. I would have to check to see how much unemployment actually has increased since Zelaya’s ruling but for now, I’m trusting the people who live there rather than the foreign media who flies in to do a story and leaves.

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