According to reports from national human rights organizations, at approximately 1 a.m. Honduran President 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. On the Day of the National Survey for Constitutional Reform, the Honduran President Was Captured by the Military
According to reports from national human rights organizations, at approximately 1 a.m. Honduran President 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 reported.
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.
For more information contact:
In Guatemala, Annie Bird, Rights Action co-director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 011-502-5005-1530.
In North America, Grahame Russell, Rights Action co-director, email@example.com, 1-860-751-4285.