President Zelaya: De Facto Government’s Military Repression Is a Criminal Act

Caracas, 5 July 2009, ABN — The legitimate president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, said this Sunday from El Salvador that the repression that the de facto government of Honduras carried out against demonstrators, who were peacefully calling for the return of the constitutional president, is a criminal act.

“The acts of violence committed on Sunday afternoon add to the shame of the de facto Honduran government, for they demonstrate their disregard for all human rights.  The state cannot promote violent acts; therefore, they will pay for each one of the victims, however many there are” Zelaya emphasized.

At the press conference in San Salvador, the Honduran leader pointed out that a government that dares to fire on its own people does not deserve to remain in power, for criminals cannot govern a country.

Also, Zelaya sent words of condolence to the victims’ families, adding that all necessary efforts will be made so these murders will not go unpunished.

In this regard, he exhorted the soldiers to lay down their arms and not to use them against the people to whom they were born and who saw them grow up.  Then, he said that the weapons must be aimed at those who exploit the people, not at the people who are fighting for democracy.

“I order them not to repress the Honduran people any more.  It pains me to see soldiers raise their arms against unarmed people who are struggling simply to establish the constitutional order in this nation,” he stressed.

At the press conference, President Zelaya was accompanied by Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, Argentinean President Cristina Fernández, Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, Organization of American States Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto.

The pro-coup military of Honduras, this Sunday, prevented the landing of the Venezuelan-registered commercial aircraft transporting Zelaya from Washington, the United States to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The Toncontín air traffic controller threatened the crew of the aircraft that it would be intercepted by the Honduran air force.

The constitutional president of Honduras was kidnapped by soldiers at dawn last Sunday and taken to Costa Rica by force.

Since then, a de facto government was installed into power, headed by Roberto Micheletti, who has forcefully suppressed street demonstrations that are opposed to his regime and that are in favor of the return of the popularly elected constitutional president to Honduras.

So far, the worst repression came this Sunday when hundreds of people assembled near the Toncontín international airport in Tegucigalpa awaiting the return of the constitutional president to the country.

That is when the army fired on the men and women who gathered there, an action that left two dead, one of whom was a minor (16 years old).

The original article “Presidente Zelaya: La represión militar del Gobierno de facto es un acto criminal” was published by Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias on 5 July 2009.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]