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Military Coup unfolding in Honduras

On the Day of the National Survey for Constitutional Reform, the Honduran President Was Captured by the Military

by Rights Action

According to reports from national human rights organizations, at
approximately 1am the president of Honduras, Mel Zelaya and his family were captured by the military. He was taken to a military airport. He denounced the military coup and his capture to TeleSur over the telephone from Costa Rica.

It is also reported that other members of the government,
particularly the ministers, are being arrested, and that cars with
diplomatic license plates are being stopped and searched to facilitate
the detentions.

Robert Michelletti, one of the strongest opponents of the president
and president of the Congress, is rumored to be backed by the military
to assume the presidency.

Communications have been interrupted. The national press, all
strongly opposed to the president, is silent. Channel 8, established
by President Zelaya after years of press censorship, and was shut
down. Community radios have been cut off.

Nationally the national telephone system was shut down, and the
national energy grid has been shut down in many areas.

The national telephone system was temporarily cut off, and in some
areas cellular phones are not longer operating.

The military is occupying the entire county, and has established
checkpoints in the entry and exits of towns, presumably to restrict
protesters and possibly to facilitate detentions.

Despite the military occupation there are protests throughout the
country and repression is being report.

We are extremely concerned for the safety of the human rights
organizations that have supported the President and the efforts for
Constitutional Reform.

Currently there are reports of the military pursuing civil society
leaders in the street. COPINH, the National Council of Indigenous
Peoples has strongly backed the constitutional reform effort. The home
of Bertha Caceres, a leader of COPINH, has been under military and
police surveillance for several days. Today leaders of COPINH have
been pursued by the military in the street, and are in hiding.

On Tuesday of last week Fabio Ochoa, the regional coordinator
promoting the Constitutional reform consultations, was shot five times
when leaving a television station after promoting the constitutional
reform. He is in intensive care.

The proposal to draft a new constitution is the culmination of a
series of controversial measures undertaken in his presidency, which
include a significant raise in the minimum wage, measures to re-
nationalize energy generation plants and the telephone system, signing
a bill that vastly improves labor conditions for teachers, joining the
Venezuelan Petrocaribe program which provides soft loans for
development initiatives via petroleum sales, delaying recognition of
the new US ambassador after the Bolivian government implicated the US embassy in supporting fascist paramilitary groups destabilizing
Bolivia, and others.

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Topics: Peace/War
Tags: Coup

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Journalist, co-founder VMC, ex-editor & board member with Media Co-op. Author, Drug War Capitalism.

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