November 16, 2007

Chimirri for President!

Reborn: Marcelo Chimirri in white
(looks Miami Vice-ish to me)
Photo: La Tribuna, Honduras

What a difference a couple of days make.

During the five days that he was a fugitive from justice, Marcelo Chimirri, head of the Honduran state-owned telephone company, says that God has touched his life. He has requested a month leave of absence from Hondutel from President Mel Zelaya so that he may spend time with his family and consider his political aspirations. He hasn't ruled out the possibility of running for president of Honduras since he has seen the support of Liberal party members since his return.

Never mind that the constitution of Honduras states that candidates for President have to be Hondurans by birth. Anything is possible in Honduras. The constitution was reinterpreted in 2001 in order to allow former President Ricardo Maduro, born in Panama to Panamanian born parents, to run for president. According to this 2000 Honduras This Week Online article "Nationalities of candidates questioned" (halfway down the page), it seems that Honduras frequently has problems finding Hondurans by birth to run for president.

In regard to the raid of Chimirri's home, President Zelaya stated, "....that was really a total abuse of the authority in the sense of entering with disproportionate, brutal force the residence of a public official and at the same time to offend the dignity of his daughters, his wife and in his absence". He has also encouraged Chimirri to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
Chimirri has called the Minister of Security a savage and says that the police put guns to the head of his 3- and 7-year-old daughters.

This was Chimirri two days ago, dressed in black like the gangsters he says he models himself after. I think this is his 'don't mess with me' look. According to his now sanitized Hi5 site, his favorite movies are all the Godfather and mafia-type movies. This photo was taken as he was leaving the courthouse. Photo: La Prensa, Honduras

Reader Mane tipped me off to this latest transformation. You can read Mane's scintillating and very depressing comments at the end of the article here. Mane knows the ins and outs of Honduran politics. I have no doubt about that, but this was just so far fetched that I had to check the online editions of the newspapers. Silly me. I keep forgetting that TIH − This is Honduras!

Well, there is more in the referenced newspaper articles (in Spanish), but right now, I think I'm going to be sick, so I'll just leave you with this short video of Chimirri celebrating.

If you are new to the tales of Marcelo Chimirri and the swamp of corruption in Hondutel, you can see all the articles here.
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