Honduras: “normalization” …of political violence?

Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, ousted by a coup d’etat nearly two years ago, met May 22 with the Central American republic’s current sitting president, Porfirio Lobo, and signed a pact that will allow him to return to the country. The accord also opens the way for Honduras to re-join the Organization of American States (OAS), from which it was suspended after the coup. The meeting took place in Cartagena, Colombia, and the pact was brokered by the governments of Colombia and Venezuela. “This agreement is great news to Latin Americans because it normalizes the situation in the inter-American system,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in a statement after the signing. (BBC News, CNN, May 22)

The following day, at a summit of the regional Grupo CA-4, the leaders of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador met in Managua, where Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced that his government will re-establish ties with Honduras, also broken off after the 2009 coup. The four governments pledged their support for the Cartagena pact, formally known as the Accord for National Reconciliation and Consolidation of the Democratic System in the Republic of Honduras. (Prensa Latina, May 23)

Political violence and repression continue in Honduras, however, The same day as the Managua meeting, gunmen opened fire on Manuel Acosta, 70, manager of La Tribuna newspaper, as he was driving home in Tegucigalpa. Acosta was shot six times and his car had more than 30 bullet holes, police said. Acosta nonetheless survived; he was able to drive home and his family took him to a hospital, where he is said to be in stable condition. Last week, Luis Mendoza, owner of TV station Channel 24 in Tegucigalpa, was shot to death in his car by four gunmen in the town of Danli—the seventeenth media worker slain in Honduras since the start of 2009. (AP, International Press Institute, May 23)

See our last posts on Honduras and the struggle in Central America

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