Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton did not express any regret Monday about her support for the 2009 coup in Honduras, despite the deteriorating human rights situation, recently highlighted with the murder of prominent Indigenous activist Berta Caceres.
In fact, in an interview with the New York Daily News, in her opinion, the U.S. aid to military and police forces in Central America will eventually pay off just like Plan Colombia.
Plan Colombia was established under the administration of Bill Clinton in 1999 under the guise of fighting the war on drugs. The U.S. aid package, totalling almost US$2 billion, gave 78 percent of the funds to the Colombian military and police for counternarcotics and military operations against the rebel forces.
Despite a long list of studies and evidence that shows Plan Colombia contributed to human rights abuses by security forces and the rise of paramilitary forces, Clinton took most of the credit for the current peace talks between the government and the FARC rebels, suggesting Plan Colombia brought peace to Colombia.
“I didn't like the way it looked or the way they did it but (the coup leaders) had a very strong argument that they had followed the constitution and the legal precedence,” she said in an interview with the New York Daily News.
Democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya was forcibly put on a plane and sent out of the country by the Honduran military in June 2009.
Clinton justified the move despite opposing advice from her top aides, who urged her to declare it a military coup, and to cut off U.S. aid, as some emails leaked in July revealed.
She admitted that the coup leaders “really undercut their argument by spiriting (Zelaya) out of the country in his pajamas, where they sent the military to take him out of his bed and get him out of the country.”
Nevertheless she strongly rejected the idea of cutting U.S. aid for Honduras, claiming this would have harmed the Honduran people, although it is mainly directed to the country's security forces. It is used to keep the drug war within Honduran borders – as well as to keep Central American migrants running away from drug violence from reaching the United States.