There was no arrest warrant for Manuel Zelaya the day of the coup, according to a Wikileaks cable attributed to Ambassador Hugo Llorens.
While there have been claims that the Supreme Court issued a warrant for Zelaya’s arrest, the president of the Supreme Court has told us that this is not true. The only warrant we are aware of is one issued either late on June 25 or early on June 26 by a lower court ordering the seizure of polling material.
If this is true, the arrest warrant against Zelaya was made after the fact to justify the coup d’Etat.
If this statement is true, there would be no justification for the coup. The argument of “necessity” of the military collapses .
They argue they removed Zelaya out of the country in order to save lives, because the other option would be to lock him in jail, which would have caused violent riots and loss of human lives.
But if there is no arrest warrant, Zelaya’s kidnapping is clearly just a case of military abuse, there is nothing to justify it. There’s no doubt that this is a coup.
The same cable refers to the excuse used to justify the coup:
It appears that the Attorney General, the military conspired with Micheletti and other leaders of Congress to remove Zelaya based on their fear that he planned to convene a Constituent Assembly immediately after the June 28 poll. They base their claim that he would have done so on the publication in the legal gazette on June 25 of the decree calling for the poll. Micheletti’s supporters say that publication calls for the convening of the Constituent Assembly. However, this is patently false, the publication simply states: “Are you in agreement that in the general elections of 2009, there be a fourth urn in which the people decide the convocation of a National Constituent Assembly.”
There was no reason to believe that Zelaya was about to dissolve the Congress and the Supreme Court, and to convene a National Constituent Assembly that day. There was no justification for a coup d’Etat.
Could it be possible that Micheletti and his entourage were involved in a coup for misreading a decree?
The coup leaders point to the title of the survey in the decree PCM-020-2009: “Public Opinion Poll Call for a National Constituent Assembly.” This implies, according to them, that the call for a Constituent Assembly would have been performed on the same day. But that title should be interpreted in context: again, the question in the survey refers to a fourth ballot box in the elections of November 2009.
It is inconceivable that Micheletti and his advisers were so stupid to misunderstand this decree in such a clumsy way, and to sincerely believe that this warranted a coup. I suspect Micheletti just wanted an excuse to be a de facto president.