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June 25 saw several significant developments in Honduras as tensions continue to rise following the June 24 dismissal of the country’s military commander and ongoing protests both in support of and in opposition to a proposed June 28 vote. The country’s supreme court and legislature have strenuously objected to President Manuel Zelaya’s firing of the officials and have demanded their reinstatement. Meanwhile, Zelaya reportedly has plans to name their successors.
Several hundred Honduran soldiers have been deployed around the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, along with police officers in riot gear. The deployments ostensibly are to maintain order, given the expectation that Zelaya’s supporters will soon stage large protests around the capital. The soldiers reportedly have been deployed primarily around the presidential office building, supreme court, congress and airport, where rallies are likely.
At least one march has already taken place, this one led by Zelaya himself. During the march, Zelaya and his supporters reportedly seized ballot materials for the June 28 vote from an air force building where they were being held — significantly, without any apparent interference from the soldiers guarding the facility.
The heightened tensions between Zelaya and the military warrant careful scrutiny, especially as the armed forces appear to have the support of many governmental institutions — creating the conditions in which they could feel inclined to intervene and seize power. That they have not done so yet does not rule out the possibility that they could in the next few days as the vote draws nearer. It will important to continue to examine the possibility of foreign elements in the equation, especially given reports that two aircraft (one from Venezuela and another from Nicaragua) had landed at the country’s main airport under unusual circumstances.
Enviado por: Miriam Ferrer