Honduran army’s violent repression results in deaths and injuries

THE people of Honduras responded to their constitutional president, Manuel Zelaya, and like a single body, advanced through the streets of Tegucigalpa to the Toncontín International Airport to wait for him on Sunday afternoon, defying army and police forces working for the de facto government.

The repression was not long in coming. Although the military apparently allowed the people to go past their blockade, once inside the airport, the demonstrators were violently repressed. Tear gas and shots were fired into the crowd demanding the return of the country’s democratically-elected president, resulting in the death of at least two people, including a minor, and dozens were wounded. Prensa Latina reported that journalists also were fired on by the pro-coup troops, who cut off the broadcasts of several news media.

An estimated 120,000 to 200,000 Honduras took to the streets to welcome Zelaya home.

The airport runway was completely occupied and blocked by soldiers, thus preventing the landing of the aircraft that was bringing Zelaya from Washington. In a statement to the Telesur network from the plane, Zelaya reaffirmed his conviction that he would enter Honduras to restore democracy. “I must be with my people,” he repeated, and said he regretted the deaths that had occurred, blaming the coup government.

After flying over the runway several times, the pilots were threatened with interception by the military forces if they tried to land. As the Telesur reporter explained, that was a warning that they could be shot down.

Previously, in a press conference in which the coup leaders came across very badly in their response to journalists’ questions, Micheletti and the members of his de facto government said they would not give up power, while claiming that they were not supporters of violence, even though the international media has seen the repression unleashed against peacefully resisting Honduran people. Micheletti and his men cynically said that not a single drop of Honduran blood had been shed.

Meanwhile, the DPA reported from El Salvador that the delegation led by José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS),  and including the presidents of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner; Paraguay, Fernando Lugo; and Ecuador, Rafael Correa, arrived in San Salvador, where they were to be received by Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes.

It was reported that Zelaya’s plane had landed in San Salvador from Managua, Nicaragua. Meanwhile, the curfew was extended in Honduras. (SE)

Translated by Granma International


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