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Honduras ex-president Zelaya signs agreement allowing return to country

Ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] signed an agreement [text, in Spanish] Sunday allowing his return to the country after nearly two years in exile. The agreement, brokered by the Venezuelan and Colombian governments, was signed [Heraldo report, in Spanish] in Cartagena, Colombia, by Zelaya and current President Porfirio Lobo. The move clears the way for Honduras to be readmitted to the Organization of American States (OAS) [official website], which expelled the country after the June 2009 coup [JURIST report] that saw Zelaya's ouster. Earlier this month, a Honduran court dismissed the two remaining conspiracy charges [JURIST report] against Zelaya, clearing the way for his return to the country.

In March, the Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] filed a complaint [text, PDF] to compel the release of documents related to the coup [JURIST report]. The complaint names the US Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency [official websites] as defendants, alleging the agencies withheld documents regarding if and how the US government and its interests affected the coup. In November, International Criminal Court [official website] chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] opened a preliminary investigation [JURIST report] into the coup. Last July, a Honduran court dismissed abuse of power charges against Zelaya because his successor granted amnesty [JURIST reports] to Zelaya and those involved in his removal. In June 2010, Amnesty International [advocacy website] accused the Honduran government [JURIST report] of failing to address human rights violations stemming from the coup. AI contends that hundreds of people opposed to the coup were beaten and detained.

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