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The Struggle for Truth in Honduras: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission vs. the True Commission

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In the aftermath of the June 28, 2009 coup d’etat in Honduras, the Organization of American States (OAS) designated then-Costa Rican President Oscar Arias as mediator between the coup regime and the ousted government to reach a diplomatic resolution to the political crisis. The establishment of a truth commission became part of a 12-point plan in what is known as the San Jose Accord and a pre-requisite for Honduras to gain readmittance to the OAS and recognition by many governments, including the United States. The San Jose Accord was signed by both ousted President Manuel Zelaya and de facto President Roberto Micheletti. However, failure to fulfill two important provisions of the accord --  the restoration to power of President Manuel Zelaya for the remainder of his presidential term and the inclusion of Zelaya’s ousted government in the formation of a unity government-- led Zelaya to declare the accord null and void. Nonetheless, the de facto presidents who have illegitimately held power since the ouster of Zelaya, first Michiletti and now Porfirio ‘Pepe’ Lobo, have gone forward implementing other provisions of the accord such as the formation of a Truth Commission. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR for its acronym in Spanish) was formed on April 13, 2010. Honduran and international human rights organizations immediately criticized the CVR for its lack of compliance with international standards for truth commissions. These concerns prompted the Human Rights Platform of Honduras and other civil society groups to create an alternative truth commission that they agreed to call the True Commission “Comisión de Verdad” (CDV for its acronym in Spanish).