Honduran youth movement sparked by Murillo slaying

The Miami HeraldJuly 13, 2009 

Sitting next to her younger brother's white casket on the back of a pickup truck, an angry Rebeca Murillo screamed at soldiers guarding the city's international airport as the hearse drove past the deadly site.

"Assassins!" she repeated several times over.

Her brother Isis Obed Murillo, 19, was shot by Honduran soldiers following violent protests that broke out when thousands awaited the unsuccessful return of deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

The teenager's name and the images of his bloody body being carried away from the scene have now become a rallying point for those against the post-Zelaya government. Grafitti bearing Isis' name has been spray-painted on city walls with words calling for Zelaya's return.

"He was just a kid standing up for his rights," said José Miguel Otero, 23, at a recent pro-Zelaya march down one of Tegucigalpa's main streets. "His sacrifice has now given others like me the courage to continue standing up for what we believe in."

Honduras' youth have become an integral part of manning the rallies and marches both for and against Zelaya's ouster. For many Hondurans born after the 1980s, the stories of coups and military regimes were things of the past, circumstances they learned about in history books or from tales told by parents and grandparents. Now, lessons of life and liberty, democracy and protest are becoming intertwined with their everyday lives.

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