August 5, 2009

In the Honduran news: August 5, 2009

The following are some news items this week from La Prensa that may not make the international news:

Twelve countries have agreed to send observers to Honduras' November 29th elections. Panamá has promised to send send an expert to help Honduras plan a credible and rapid method to transmit the results.

While hospitals are short of basic drugs, a warehouse full of expired and nearly expired donated drugs was being held by Red Solidaria. Red Solidaria was under the direction of Xiomara de Zelaya, the former first lady. The warehouse also contained school supplies, children's clothes and shoes, wheel chairs, and beds had not been distributed to the poor.

Unión Cívica Democrácia (UCD - citizen group) reiterated their support for the Arias dialogue but emphasized that rather than contribute to the strengthening of democracy, amnesty would debilitate the institutions and promote impunity as an incentive for corruption.

The family of Martín Rivera, who was stabbed to death Sunday night, want to clarify that the teacher was a robbery victim. Pro-Zelaya groups had previously blamed the police for his death.

ANDI, the national association of industries, has suggested an increase in taxes for the largest businesses, limitation of certain imports, and eliminating various tax exonerations in order to fortalize the economy. Producers have committed to freeze the price of basic food items.

Slightly more than 100 of Zelaya's "peaceful militia" remain near the border in Nicaragua. "Chávez should send us the AK-47s....without arms we can't do anything," said one supporter. Another said, "I can't stay here. We aren't doing anything and my kids (in Tegucigalpa) have nothing to eat."

After a driver ignored an order to stop, evaded a road block, and almost ran over two soldiers, a sergeant shot at the vehicle resulting in the death of a passenger. The road block had been set up based on reports by citizens that a black vehicle was transporting armed persons. The sergeant is being detained but the driver and other passengers fled the scene.

The business section included the announcement of a public bid to conduct a "public opinion poll" by the Tribunal Supremo Electoral. It seems that citizens may be consulted on whether to grant amnesty to Mel Zelaya.

Eight Nicaraguans in Honduras illegally were arrested for causing disturbances in Intibucá y Olancho, bringing the total number of foreigners captured to 180.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Rodolfo Padillo Sunseri, mayor of San Pedro Sula thought to have fled to the US, for abuse of authority and malversation of public funds. Interim mayor Eduardo Bueso does not know where L. 172 million went, especially since some municipal employees have not been paid for up to six months. Some municipal employees continue to strike. Trash collection service was suspended because contractors have not been paid since February.
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