In Honduras, the coup regime has enacted a decree allowing it to close media outlets rather than revoking the measure as it had promised last week. Coup leaders have already shut down the opposition media outlets Channel 36 and Radio Globo. The measure threatens broadcasters with closure for airing reports that “attack national security.” On Saturday, police fired tear gas at hundreds of people rallying in support of the ousted President Manuel Zelaya.
Protester: “Here in Honduras, we will no longer put up with them beating us, with deaths and everything. We won’t put up with it anymore! We want these coup mongers out, for these soldiers not to beat us as if they didn’t also have mothers.”
The protests were held as Zelaya representatives continued to hold talks with the coup regime. Juan Barahona, a member of Zelaya’s delegation, said the negotiations had progressed, but not on the fundamental issue of Zelaya’s return.
Juan Barahona: “There has been some progress in the negotiations, in the discussion over an agreement. But I repeat, if there is no agreement in the main point—that is, Zelaya’s return—and when we get to that point, there is no progress, we go backwards again, until we’re back at nothing.”
UN Panel Warns of Growing Mercenary Presence in Honduras
An independent UN panel is raising alarm over the use of foreign mercenaries since Zelaya’s ouster. The UN says it’s received reports the coup regime has hired more than 120 mercenaries from across Latin America. An estimated forty former Colombian paramilitaries have also been hired to guard wealthy Hondurans and their properties.