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July 6, 2009
Political crisis in Honduras deepens and turns deadly

Honduras’ sharply divided population has been engaged in competing protests since a military coup ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Diplomats are still struggling to help Honduras out of a political mess that only seems to grow deeper by the day. On Sunday, there was a violent clash at the airport in the capital city of Tegucigalpa when a plane carrying the ousted and exiled leader, Manuel Zelaya, was turned away.

Worldfocus contributing blogger John Donaghy is a volunteer with the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán who blogs at “Hermano Juancito.” On Sunday, he wrote to describe the tense climate in Honduras.

It’s been quite an eighth day for us here in Honduras.

In the early Church, the day of Christ’ resurrection was thought of as the eighth day, the day on which all is brought to completion. But Honduras did not see much resurrection today. […]

Much of today has been spent talking with people, looking for information on the Internet, and corresponding with people by e-mail. It has been a great consolation to receive notes from friends through e-mail or Facebook. It has been even more moving to receive notes from people I don’t know who have come across my blog and write — many times wishing me “Stay safe.” I feel as if I am experiencing some of the “globalization of solidarity” — something we in Honduras deeply need.

While waiting for news I turned on the radio (since I don’t have a television). About 2:00 pm, regular programming was interrupted. The de facto president Roberto Micheletti and some of his advisers had a press conference which was broadcast on all the TV and radio stations. They call it a cadena and is broadcast by the government. The first statement was that that Nicaraguan troops were massing toward the border with Honduras. When questioned about details, no number or place was given and it was finally acknowledged that there were “small groups of Nicaraguan troops.” The de facto president admitted that the troops could be acting without authorization of their commanders. But it was also called a “psychological invasion.” […]

This press conference was repeated again on a national broadcast at 4:25. Though most stations were running it, the local Catholic radio station announced that since it was a repeat they would continue with broadcasting religious music instead of the repeat broadcast. One small courageous act.

Surfing the radio dial on Radio America later, I heard another national rebroadcast of the Cardinal’s statement from [Saturday] with words from another religious leader.

This feels a lot like fear mongering.

I must mention that acting president Micheletti mentioned that he had sent a letter to the Organization of American States suggesting dialogue but when asked what would be the issue for the dialogue an aide gave an ambiguous reply. It was reported that a U.S. official said it was unclear what was the purpose of the proposed dialogue. Dialogue would be good – but it needs to include a wide consultation.

About 5:00 pm I was listening to the Catholic Radio station which reported that Zelaya’s plane was circling the Tegcigalpa airport. This sounded a little strange at first because a government official had earlier reported that Zelaya had landed in El Salvador. But I listened, even as I read e-mail reports from some one in the Caribbean. I called the Franciscan sisters who lived down the street and went to watch the television coverage.

The plane was circling with Zelaya and Father Miguel D’Escoto, the Nicaraguan Maryknoll priest who is General Secretary of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Three army vehicles on the runway were joined by a helicopter, preventing the landing. Eventually the plane went on to Nicaragua as a fueling point, before going to El Salvador to meet up with the presidents of Argentina, Paraguay, and Ecuador who were waiting for him there.

Zelaya is still outside the country, for better or worse.

To read more, see the original post.

The views expressed by contributing bloggers do not reflect the views of Worldfocus or its partners.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user egmb757lover under a Creative Commons license.

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