Mahadeo Roopchand Sadloo Sadloo, better known by his nickname Emo, and one of the most well-known faces of the Resistance (FNRP), was assassinated yesterday at his tire shop in Tegucigalpa. Emo (variously being reported as Emo, Emmo, or Emmoo) was a naturalized Honduran citizen with 12 children.
Based on witnesses' testimony, the murder appears to have been a paid assassination, and judging by the composite drawing of the perpetrator, the killer was a young man in his early 20s or perhaps even younger. The victim died of five gunshot wounds to the head and thorax.
Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, probable FNRP/FARP (Resistance) presidential candidate and wife of Manuel Zelaya, immediately called it a "political crime" and a warning for her husband. That is an extremely interesting spin, since the only documented threats reported by Emo himself were from Mel Zelaya's own bodyguards. Xiomara eulogizes, “Emo has been a bulwark of the Resistance; he has accompanied Mel; he has been at Mel's side", but fails to mention that Mel's bodyguards have used violence in the past four months to keep Emo away from Mel.
Mel Zelaya said that this action was "a declaration of war against the Resistance" — another interesting political spin, since it is highly doubtful that his bodyguards would have used aggression against his long time loyal follower on several occasions without Mel's knowledge. Mel is calling for "strong and massive" protests and claims that there is a plot to assassinate the leaders of the FNRP.
Honduras President Pepe Lobo says that the full force of the state will be put forth to bring the perpetrator to justice. Today police offered a L.100,000 reward to anyone who could provide conclusive information.
As usual, none of Resistance friendly media or the international media report the aggressions documented by Emo himself in a official human rights complaint against Mel Zelaya's bodyguards, who apparently abused him during visits to several cities.
Emo considered Zelaya "his leader" and was one of his most vocal supporters, always at the forefront of every protest, often giving interviews and soundbites to both local and international media. The photo above shows Emo hugging Zelaya at the Brazilian Embassy when he returned to the country on September 21, 2009.
Emo made an official denuncia before CODEH (Committee for the Defense of Human Rights) on July 21, 2011, characterized on CODEH's website as "physical assault and harassment". According to Emo's complaint, although he considered himself a close friend of Zelaya and part of Mel's inner circle, beginning on May 28, 2011, when Mel Zelaya returned to Honduras, he was repressed and beaten to keep him away from Zelaya by Zelaya's bodyguards, who he names in the complaint.
Emo reports several other instances in which he had traveled to various parts of the country to support "his leader" but was beaten, punched in the face and stomach, choked, knocked to the ground, threatened with a gun, and insulted as being a "nobody" and a "bum" by the bodyguards. He also wrote that he witnessed the bodyguards using aggression against other Zelaya followers, women and men, who were knocked to the ground only because they wanted to say hello to their hero.
The complaint says that Emo reported all of this to other Resistance leaders, Rafael Alegría, Rasel Tome, and Mel himself but received no response.
Zelaya may have thought that Emo had outlived his usefulness and had instructed his bodyguards to keep Emo at a distance from him. Perhaps Emo was disillusioned with Mel's actions since his return. We will probably never know the actual circumstances but it would be very difficult to believe that Zelaya's bodyguards were acting without his knowledge or against his wishes.
CODEH is not a credible organization and it's president Andrés Pavón has made some outrageous, unsupported accusations over the years. Perhaps the most ridiculous was when, in an effort to sabotage the 2009 presidential elections, he reported on a Cholusat Sur television program that he had uncovered a mass assassination plot by the military in which they were going to massacre 1,200 UCD (anti-Zelaya) members during the election in order to blame the massacre on the Resistance. Pavón claimed to have proof and slyly grinned while he showed the cameras two photos of two soldiers standing, doing nothing. The photos could have been taken on any street corner or military installation and showed nothing at all except two soldiers talking to each other. At times during this great revelation, he even appeared to be snickering, as if he himself couldn't believe the gullibility of anyone who would believe this farfetched story.
However, CODEH published Emo's complaint on their website on July 21, 2011, and included two photos of Emo signing the document, so I tend to believe that Emo actually made the denuncia. Interviewed yesterday, Pavón stated that he had not taken action on the complaint as a week afterward, Emo told him that he had "reached an accord" with the bodyguards. The complaint could have been false, but why? Up until an hour before his death, Emo was supporting Mel Zelaya's corrupt protege Flores Lanza in a protest in which he carried a banner with a likeness of Mel. Could it be that the resistance needs a fresh martyr?
Related article from a Honduran blogger (in Spanish):
Quién sale beneficiado con la muerte de Sadloo? (Who benefits from the death of Sadloo?)