Honduras: A Week In Review – Zelaya Camps At Nicaraguan Border
Last week has been a period of intensity for the nation of Honduras, as the political saga, involving the ousted President Zelaya on one side and the new de facto President Micheletti on the other, continued.
Early in the week, EU and the United States have announced aid freezes to Honduras as the situation remains unstable. The measures were intended to put pressure on Micheletti's government.
On Friday, July 24, Zelaya, surrounded by numerous supporters, made a brief excurse into Honduras from the Nicaraguan border. The border crossing was predicted to be "dramatic" by media around the world, but turned out to be rather lackluster. Zelaya turned back into Nicaragua half-an-hour after venturing into Honduras. Zelaya would face arrest upon his return as was stated earlier by the de facto Interim government who also said that Zelaya's reinstatement as the President of Honduras is "completely ruled out." Zelaya was not arrested, however, on his brief crossing of Honduran border on Friday.
On Saturday, July 25, Zelaya announced he would set up a camp next to Honduran-Nicaraguan border. Zelaya also said he wants his family to be able to see him. A curfew newly imposed by Micheletti government on Friday is still in effect in the border region.
"Today we are going to set up camps here, with water and food. We are going to stay here this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow morning," Zelaya said.
Logistically, it appears the camp will be a hard one to organize and manage, as the tents promised by the Nicaraguan side had not arrived on Saturday, prompting Zelaya and his supporters to seek refuge at a gymnasium in the nearby Nicaraguan town of El Ocotal. Zelaya and his supporters returned to the border on Sunday.
Al Jazeera suggested Sunday that Zelaya was unable to garner enough support to return to Honduras. Instead, he planned to camp at the Honduran-Nicaraguan border to raise more awareness about his plight to be able to make a strong stand to return eventually. But Al Jazeera says not enough supporters are backing him up. It also reports Honduran authorities are blocking some supporters, including Zelaya's family, from accessing the border from Honduran side. One supporter stabbed to death was found near the border after Friday's crossing, but police forces deny involvement in the man's death.
Just today, reports started to surface, alleging that the armed forces of Honduras agreed to comply by the San Jone Accord suggested by negotiation mediator Osca Arias, which would see Zelaya reinstalled as President but with limited powers. Today's development markes the first compromise from Micheletti's government since the negotiations started.