The commission’s dilemma

One of the biggest challenges that the commission will face is sifting through all the information regarding people who have been beaten, threatened, raped, killed, or unjustly imprisoned and distinguishing between those cases that may be politically motivated and perpetuated by the government, the police, or the military and those cases that may be the result of organized or random crime. There is a long history of human rights abuses in Honduras, going back decades. The abuses did not start on June 28, 2009 when President Manuel Zelaya was ousted from power.

Another major challenge the commission will confront will be determining the circumstances of the alleged abuses. It is not enough to identify the abusers and the abused, it is also important to provide some perspective, context to how confrontations developed — whether or not there were provocations, and if so, whether or not the provocations were met with excessive and unreasonable force, and what defines “excessive” and “unreasonable”.

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