Honduran troops rout Zelaya supporters outside embassy

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 22, 2009 

CARACAS, Venezuela — The police and army in Honduras on Tuesday morning swept away thousands of supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya who'd spent the night outside the Brazilian Embassy after his dramatic return to Honduras the day before.

Heavily armed government troops used tear gas and riot sticks to dislodge the supporters, the Associated Press reported.

The government's counter-move came after it extended a curfew throughout Tuesday, prohibited flights into the international airport in Tegucigalpa, the capital, and put up roadblocks on highways.

Zelaya remained in the Brazilian Embassy along with dozens of supporters.

Interim President Roberto Micheletti called on Brazil on Monday night to hand over Zelaya, who's wanted on 18 charges of corruption, treason and abuse of power.

The move Tuesday morning indicates that the Micheletti government won't use Zelaya's unexpected return as an opportunity to resolve the country's political crisis by permitting Zelaya to serve out the final four months of his presidential term.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias — backed by the Obama administration and Latin American and European governments — has put forth a plan for Zelaya to return under limited powers. Micheletti and his supporters in Congress and the business community say they can't trust Zelaya to keep his word, however.

Honduras' crisis began June 28 when the military whisked Zelaya out of the country at gunpoint. The country's Supreme Court had ordered his arrest for trying to hold a national referendum to rewrite Honduras' constitution.

MORE FROM MCCLATCHY Exiled former leader makes surprise return to Honduras Defying U.S., Honduras won't let Zelaya return as president U.S. cuts off non-humanitarian aid to Honduras Follow South American news at McClatchy's Inside South America

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service