{"code":"26579","sect":"Central America","sect_slug":"central-america","hits":"558","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202212\/centroamerica\/26579","link_edit":"","name":"\u201cHonduras can learn things from Bukele\u2019s state of exception\u201d","slug":"-ldquo-honduras-can-learn-things-from-bukele-rsquo-s-state-of-exception-rdquo-","info":"Honduran Secretary of Security Ram\u00f3n Sabill\u00f3n denies that the decision to suspend constitutional rights and deploy the army and police into dozens of marginalized communities contradicts Xiomara Castro\u2019s promise to place human rights and democracy at the front of her governing agenda. In this interview, given ten days ago, he takes distance from the state of exception in El Salvador, but affirms that \u201cthere are things to be learned\u201d from the Bukele model.","mtag":"Politics","noun":{"html":"\u003Cspan class='tint-text--dark' data_href='\/user\/profile\/rgressier'\u003E Roman Gressier\u003C\/span\u003E","data":{"roman-gressier":{"sort":"rgressier","slug":"roman-gressier","path":"roman_gressier","name":"Roman Gressier","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"558","pict":{"cms-image-000038384-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"38384","name":"cms-image-000038384.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038384.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038384.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000038384-jpg","text":"<p>Honduran Minister of Security Ramon Sabillon in his office in Tegucigalpa, on April 5, 2022. Sabill\u00f3n, dismissed as National Police director in 2014 by then-President Juan Orlando Hernandez after dismantling an operation of the Valle Valle drug cartel, was who arrested the ex-head of state seven years later. Hern\u00e1ndez has been extradited to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. Photo: Orlando Sierra\/AFP<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EHonduran Minister of Security Ramon Sabillon in his office in Tegucigalpa, on April 5, 2022. Sabill\u00f3n, dismissed as National Police director in 2014 by then-President Juan Orlando Hernandez after dismantling an operation of the Valle Valle drug cartel, was who arrested the ex-head of state seven years later. Hern\u00e1ndez has been extradited to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. Photo: Orlando Sierra\/AFP\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000038385-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"38385","name":"cms-image-000038385.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038385.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038385.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000038385-jpg","text":"<p>Honduran Minister of Security Ramon Sabillon speaks with AFP during an interview at his office in Tegucigalpa, on April 5, 2022. - Sabillon, who was dismissed as National Police director in 2014 by then Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez after dismantling an operation of the Valle Valle drug cartel, was who arrested him seven years later. Hernandez will be extradited to the US on alleged links with drug trafficking. (Photo by Orlando SIERRA \/ AFP)<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EHonduran Minister of Security Ramon Sabillon speaks with AFP during an interview at his office in Tegucigalpa, on April 5, 2022. - Sabillon, who was dismissed as National Police director in 2014 by then Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez after dismantling an operation of the Valle Valle drug cartel, was who arrested him seven years later. Hernandez will be extradited to the US on alleged links with drug trafficking. (Photo by Orlando SIERRA \/ AFP)\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":38385,"date":{"live":"2022\/12\/07"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2022","data_post_dateLive_MM":"12","data_post_dateLive_DD":"07","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202212\/centroamerica\/26578\/%E2%80%9CA-la-gente-no-le-gustan-las-medidas-preventivas-quiere-pu%C3%B1o-duro%E2%80%9D.htm\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003ELeer en espa\u00f1ol\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn Wednesday, December 7, the Honduran Police and Army began deploying forces to dozens of neighborhoods in the two largest cities of Honduras who, the night before, had multiple of their constitutional rights suspended by executive decree. Their communities are the new battleground of what President Xiomara Castro two weeks ago called a \u201cwar against extortion.\u201d It\u2019s a page from the playbook of neighboring President Nayib Bukele, who since the beginning of April has maintained all of El Salvador under a state of exception amid what he calls a \u201cwar against gangs.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ECastro, who at the end of January will complete her first year in power, promised to restore democracy in Honduras after a decade of narco-government \u2014 \u201cnarco-dictatorship,\u201d as her government calls the 12 years of National Party rule. But in 89 colonias (or neighborhoods) of the capital and 73 others in San Pedro Sula she has suspended six constitutional rights by \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/drive.google.com\/file\/d\/1nRNQNzbPtqB1txl6nyDpPSIXjnyR5PbE\/view?usp=sharing\"\u003Eexecutive order\u003C\/a\u003E: freedom of transit and protection from forced displacement from one\u2019s home; freedom of association; \u201c\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/odh.sedh.gob.hn\/category\/view\/338\/derecho-a-la-integridad-y-libertad-personal\"\u003Epersonal freedom\u003C\/a\u003E;\u201d the right to post bail and avoid pre-trial arrest; the prohibition of detentions without a warrant; and the right to \u201cnot be arrested for obligations not stemming from a crime.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn El Salvador, a similar suspension of guarantees has led to almost 60,000 arrests in the past nine months, as well as thousands of reports of arbitrary arrest, torture, and due process violations. In Honduras, Secretary of State for Public Security Ram\u00f3n Sabill\u00f3n tempers Castro\u2019s talk of war with promises of respect for human rights and to address the \u201croot causes\u201d of crime. He also tries to take distance from the excesses of Nayib Bukele\u2019s model, despite the fact that in August the president of the Honduran Congress, Rolando Redondo, visited El Salvador, met with Vice President F\u00e9lix Ulloa, and publicly stated that he came to see the results of what Bukele has called his \u201cTerritorial Control Plan.\u201d Julissa Villanueva, vice minister of security, has also publicly asserted that Honduras should see what it can learn from the Salvadoran model.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBut in the ten days since he spoke with El Faro over the phone on November 27, the measures described by the secretary \u2014one of the officials who signed the executive order\u2014 have changed: the number of colonias targeted by the measures has increased from 120 to 162; he underscored just one suspended right but now there are six; and the government went over the heads of Congress, imposing the state of exception by executive order.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn Wednesday morning, El Faro contacted the secretary and a press assistant to offer a chance to update any of his statements. The assistant responded that \u201cdue to the fulfillment of his agenda I haven\u2019t been able to contact the minister right now.\u201d At publication time Sabill\u00f3n had not returned a separate message sent directly to his phone.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESabill\u00f3n, who in the interview admits that political discourse prevails over technical criteria in decisions of this nature, says that there will be no abuses of power under the states of exception in Honduras, but a sizable portion of his answers in this interview have already turned out to be false.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWhy extortion, and why combat them in this fashion now? It seems that the government believes this is the main problem facing Honduras right now, even above drug trafficking.\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIt\u2019s not that one is above the other, but rather that they\u2019re linked. The \u003Cem\u003Emaras\u003C\/em\u003E [gangs] diversified themselves through the distribution of drugs, contract killings, money laundering. They meet the criteria of organized crime in the Palermo Convention. We made the change to treat both problems equally.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EAre you saying that by declaring war against extortion you\u2019re also doing so against drug trafficking?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIt implicitly carries a component of internal trafficking and distribution, two problems that we want to attack.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EIs it also a war against the gangs?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EExactly \u2014 and against all of their typology, like the use and trafficking of arms and munitions.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWhy the bellicose narrative? Can you not address these problems through your public security policy?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EI\u2019ve spoken of prevention and control. Other parts of the state working on social and economic issues also have a responsibility to the family unit. And we also see the component of human rights and human security. A society must attack crime at the root, not only repress. What happens is that people don\u2019t like preventative measures. They want a hard fist.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESo, this talk of war\u2026 Some things have been said and you know that technical analysis isn\u2019t the highest level [of decision-making], but rather politics. That\u2019s where the talking points are defined. So, in order for people to understand that we\u2019re moving forward with strength, and with decisiveness, Madam President has appropriately used that term.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E \u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E \u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=3000&ImageHeight=2000&ImageId=38384 class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Honduran Minister of Security Ramon Sabillon in his office in Tegucigalpa, on April 5, 2022. Sabill\u00f3n, dismissed as National Police director in 2014 by then-President Juan Orlando Hernandez after dismantling an operation of the Valle Valle drug cartel, was who arrested the ex-head of state seven years later. Hern\u00e1ndez has been extradited to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. Photo: Orlando Sierra\/AFP\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E \u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E \u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003E Honduran Minister of Security Ramon Sabillon in his office in Tegucigalpa, on April 5, 2022. Sabill\u00f3n, dismissed as National Police director in 2014 by then-President Juan Orlando Hernandez after dismantling an operation of the Valle Valle drug cartel, was who arrested the ex-head of state seven years later. Hern\u00e1ndez has been extradited to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. Photo: Orlando Sierra\/AFP \u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E \u003C\/div\u003E \u003C\/div\u003E \u003C\/figcaption\u003E \u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EBut there will be a suspension of constitutional rights in dozens of communities who could find themselves besieged by the Army or Police.\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EMore than anything by the Police, but the Police works in a technical manner. We\u2019re working so that the state of exception will be as minimally invasive as possible and so that there will also be periodicity, a schedule, like in other curfews and other activities of the nation, of the communities. With differential treatment, because every community has its own culture, its own social, economic, and educational activities.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EBut there will indeed be a suspension of constitutional rights.\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EProbably, in terms of circulation. Not for the citizens, but for certain groups.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EThe right to enter and exit certain communities?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EYes. But, for example, in the case of a health worker who is on call, there must be discretion because his work is of a social nature, as is also the case for security companies. We\u2019re trodding a very fine line that will not affect the economic activities of each municipality. It will be focused solely on hotspots. Those 120 neighborhoods or colonias are mainly in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, but it will be progressive and studied in other communities, because criminals can move from one city to another.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EEl Heraldo has reported \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elheraldo.hn\/honduras\/estado-de-sitio-colonias-controladas-por-criminales-tegucigalpa-san-pedro-sula-extorsion-policia-nacional-honduras-LA11111965\"\u003Eten articles\u003C\/a\u003E of the Constitution that could be suspended under states of exception. Is that not what the government is requesting?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENo, I think they\u2019re putting things out of proportion. They see the norm in an absolutist way. But no, there will be no deprivation of\u2026 Remember that our proposal needs to pass through the hands of the Executive and Congress. I repeat: It will be as minimally invasive as possible in the life of a community.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EHow do you expect this to fare with the different legislative groups?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EJust fine. They have asked for [the decree], because this is a national issue.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EAre you using the state of exception in El Salvador as a reference point?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENo. Look, every country has its own realities and makes its decisions. We are taking an alternate route. More than a month ago [in October] the Office for Rehabilitation, Resocialization, and Reinsertion was created. We can now take both steps, as opposed to the other model, so that ours will not be invasive of dignity nor human rights.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EDoesn\u2019t a state of exception imply that the government is incapable of addressing extortion without suspending rights?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENo, we always frame our work in dignity and human rights. In the short term, with our formula, with our eight strategic focus points, we will be able to get this done. We\u2019ll publish those points later, but the strategy is very attuned to reality in Honduras. There are components from El Salvador that could be used, but not in their total dimension. There are things to be learned from them, but in the \u003Cem\u003Ecatracha\u003C\/em\u003E [Honduran] formula.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWhat things can be learned from Bukele\u2019s model?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe first is respect for socio-economic activity and culture of each community, each colonia. Respect for transportation and the active identification of individuals to see if those moving around are credible, without ties to these structures.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EIn El Salvador there have been almost 60,000 arrests and thousands of reports of violations of rights. The rights to defense and communications privacy, for example, have been suspended. You say that you would like to incorporate aspects of what is happening in that country, so I\u2019d like to understand what you\u2019re referring to.\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn transportation and circulation we will have some differences. Ours will go by colonias, but not all of them in San Pedro or Tegucigalpa. I don\u2019t think it will be a total restriction of rights in those two initial municipalities. Remember that we\u2019re in the December holiday season, with celebrations. We have to know how to apply it, so that it won\u2019t be invasive.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EDoes Honduras need to purge the police or military?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EI can only speak for the Police. Recall that from 2016 to 2018 they removed almost 5,000 police officers in processes that were not judicially reliable. Our proposal for recruiting or firing personnel will be carried out in accordance with the law. And we\u2019re improving our human talent, because the Police cannot only repress. We have to also apply other educational models: human dignity, human rights, the rights of women and ethnic groups.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ESpeaking of which, have you investigated the involvement of the Police in the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/en\/202211\/centroamerica\/26468\/Under-Xiomara-Castro-Honduran-Garifunas-Receive-JOH-Style-Military-Eviction.htm\"\u003Eremoval of the Garifuna community in Punta Gorda\u003C\/a\u003E?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIt\u2019s not a question of involvement, but rather of intervention. \u201cInvolvement\u201d suggests a violation of human rights, but that police intervention was ordered by a court. A prosecutor and the ordering judge accompanied the process. We carried it out and yesterday [November 26] was the hearing in which the six people were freed. The Police are only one actor in the system. Not everything falls at our feet. What would happen if a police officer disobeys a court order? In addition to being detained, his right to promotion is lost and he loses his job. People can view the functioning of the Police in a simplistic way, but it\u2019s complex.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EThe Police has to obey judicial orders, but the Garifuna community has the right to ancestral land\u2026\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThat\u2019s another issue\u2026 How do you define the concept of ancestral?\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EI\u2019m not the one to define it. It\u2019s the Inter-American Court.\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThat\u2019s not up to the Police, but rather the Judicial Power. It\u2019s the decision of the state in its entirety, the courts.\u003C\/p\u003E"}