AT A GLANCE
Official Name: Republic of Honduras
Independence: 1821 from Spain
Establishing a Truth Commission in Honduras
Local Organization: Government of Honduras, Truth Commission Secretariat
Canadian Expert: Michael Kergin
Article: Beyond Borders - Establishing a truth commission in Honduras, appeared in Public Sector Management magazine in 2011
Honduran President Zelaya was ousted and exiled by the military in a coup d’état, acting on orders from the Supreme Court, on June 28, 2009. Allegations of human rights violations, including political murders, and disputes over attempts to rewrite the constitution, were made both before and after the coup.
Canada was very active in helping Honduras reach a peaceful, negotiated solution to the internal conflict and has offered to assist Honduras in its efforts towards national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy. President Porfirio Lobo, elected in November, has established a Truth Commission to assist in the national reconciliation process and has appointed former Vice-President of Guatemala, Eduardo Stein, as Truth Commission Coordinator. Four Commissioners, two Honduran and two international, have been appointed to help carry out the Commission’s mandate and contribute to the drafting of the Commission’s report. DDD has enabled Michael Kergin, former Canadian ambassador to the US, to serve as one of the international commissioners. Officially launched on May 4, 2010, the Truth Commission will probe the numerous claims of human rights abuses leading up to and after the June 2009 coup d’état. It will establish the basis for reconciliation by allowing the parties involved to present their views and identify lessons learned to strengthen democracy in Honduras, while reducing the potential for a recurrence of the troubles. The Commission’s mandate is to report in nine months and complete its work in about one year.
Support to natural resources governance with a specific emphasis on the extractive sector
Local Organization: Secretariat for Environment and Natural Resources (SERNA) Division of External Cooperation, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Canadian Expert: Anne Slivitzky and team
The purpose of this initiative was to strengthen the resource governance capacity in the extractive resources sector of the Mining Authority in Honduras, DEFOMIN.
Specifically, the project goal was to:
• improve the ability of the Honduran mining sector to operate in a socially responsible manner;
• increase transparency of information relating to the mining sector;
• increase credibility of the mining authority as a regulator of the sector.
At the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in March 2012, the Honduran Secretariat for Environment and Natural Resources (SERNA) specifically asked Canada for assistance with the improvement of their proposed mining regulatory framework as well as with building their resource governance capacity in the extractive resources sector with corporate social responsibility (CSR) being also of interest.