Honduras imposes State of Siege in South

Clifton Ross

Thousands of Zelaya supporters stranded en route to meet the presidentFoto

By Marcy Rein as reported by Clifton Ross from the Nicaraguan/Honduran Border
July 25, 2009 8:30 a.m.

Honduran national police have clamped a state of siege on the southern department of El Paraiso and blocked roads from Tegucigalpa to the Nicaraguan border. Thousands of Hondurans who caravanned from the capital to the border yesterday to support the return of President Manuel Zelaya are stranded in trucks, cars and buses along the road.

“People could be arrested, imprisoned or shot for being out of their houses, but we have no houses here to return to,” said California-based journalist Clifton Ross, who accompanied the caravan and is stranded in El Paraiso. Honduran coup leader Roberto Micheletti imposed the state of siege on the evening of July 24. It is in effect round the clock in the department of El Paraiso, closest to the border. The rest of the country is under curfew from midnight to 4:00 a.m.

Police shot three Zelaya supporters, ran over three more and tear-gassed the crowd several times yesterday, Ross said. They captured, torutured and murdered a 24-year-old from Tegucigalpa. (According to Telesur, the demosnstrator's name was Pedro Ezequiel or Pedro Munoz. see link below.--Ed.) Thousands of supporters had reached the border before the government set up roadblocks, detaining busloads of others who wanted to meet Zelaya.

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (C) holds up the chain which mark the border between Honduras and Nicaragua with his supporters at the border point of Las Manos in Honduras, on July 24, 2009. Zelaya returned Friday to Nicaragua after staying two hours in Honduras at the border point of Las Manos. (Xinhua/David De La Paz)President Zelaya crossed the border yesterday unarmed and negotiated for a half-hour with an Honduran army colonel. Zelaya was denied entrance, the colonel was arrested for talking to him, and the coup government called the state of siege.

“Nothing can get in or out of El Paraiso at this point,” Ross said. Zelaya supporters slept in their cars, under trucks or on neighbors’ porches as heavy rain fell on and off through the night.

“People here have been fighting for Zelaya’s return for a month now. They are incredibly committed and won’t back down,” he said. He urged people to call Congress and the White House and demand that the U.S. government pressure Micheletti to lift the siege.

White House comment line: 202-456-1111
Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121

Send an email to Barack Obama using the Latin America Solidarity Coalition/School of the Americas Watch site http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/727/t/3823/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27531

Eva Golinger's Blog--Frequent updates on situation i, Honduras

Telesur reports on tortured and murdered detainee.



La Jornada Report

INACURATE LA Times story:

For more information: Clifton Ross can be contacted at clifross@gmail.com, Marcy Rein can be reached at marcyrein@yahoo.com

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About Clifton Ross

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Clifton Ross is a free lance writer and videographer who has been reporting on Latin America for over 25 years.He has edited many anthologies including: A Dream Made of Stars: A Bilingual Anthology of Nicaraguan Poetry and Voice of Fire: Communiques and Interviews of the Zapatista National Liberation Army. He is the translator of Quetzalcoatl by Ernesto Cardenal and author of When Good Dogs Have Bad Dreams: Four American Poets.

Fables for an Open Field has just been released in Spanish by La Casa Tomada of Venezuela. His forthcoming book of poems in translation, Traduciendo el Silencio, will be published later this year by Venezuela's Ministry of Culture editorial, Perro y Rana.

In 2005 Clifton represented the U.S. along with Genny Lim in Venezuela's World Poetry Festival.

Ross currently teaches English at Berkeley City College, Berkeley, California. He can be reached at clifross@gmail.com .