June 28, 2009

Honduran President Mel Zelaya arrested

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya

Confirmed by CNN International, the Honduran Ambassador in the US, and El Heraldo newspaper:

The much rumored Honduran coup d'etat (golpe de estado) has occurred.

Honduran military arrested President Mel Zelaya around 5 a.m. this morning, what was to have been the day of the illegal referendum pushed by Zelaya despite declarations of illegality from the Attorney General, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. Military personnel escorted Zelaya to the Hernán Acosta Mejía air force base and he has been removed from the country. Military forces have taken control of the presidential palace and are confiscating the election materials in Tegucigalpa.

The government of Costa Rica has confirmed that Zelaya is in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican Minister of Security reported that Zelaya is in "magnificent" condition with no personal injuries whatsoever. She reported that Zelaya said he was kidnapped and that he did not ask for asylum. She believes that he will hold a press conference in the next hour.

CNN en Español video from Tegucigalpa shows Zelaya supporters protesting peacefully in front of the presidential palace but the crowd appears to be dispersing. In one video, two women begin beating on the soldiers who are only walking down the sidewalk at the time.

Information is sketchy because much of the capital city is without electricity, radio stations are off the air, all of the Honduran TV stations have been silent on the issue, showing sports, cartoons, and normal programming. The government propaganda station has been taken off the air. All of the Honduran newspaper websites are overloaded and can only be accessed sporadically. I was able to access La Tribuna to read one article but am no longer able to access La Tribuna for updates.

At this moment, inbside or outside of Honduras, CNN en Español seems to be the best source of information. They are primarily doing telephone interviews. An interview with the leader of the large Paz y Democracia group (Peace and Democracy) reports that the military was acting legally under orders of the Supreme Court and that this "IS NOT A GOLPE DE ESTADO."

Hopefully, the Honduran newspapers will be available soon.
If you are unable to access any of Honduran newspaper sites via the front page, try this link:

Militares detienen al Presidente

Here is a Google English translation of the same article

A Honduran government news conference is expected at noon today, Honduran time.

Background information:

Honduran crisis: the day before the election

Hugo Chávez threatens to intervene in Honduras

La Cuarta Urna (the fourth ballot box)
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