Political groups clash at Zelaya’s Nicaragua camp

Hundreds of orteguistas—followers of President Daniel Ortega—armed with rocks, sticks and metal barricades blocked roads around the northern Nicaraguan town of Ocotal to bar the advance of a congressional delegation from the Nicaraguan Democratic Bloque (Bancada Democrática Nicaragüense—BDN), which was seeking to deliver a letter to ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, protesting his use of the country’s territory as a staging ground for his bid to return to power. Among those turned back when the orteguistas seized the bridge over the Rio Coco leading to Ocotal was opposition leader Eduardo Montealegre. Three legislators were forcibly held while their vehicles were set upon with clubs. (Nuevo Diario, Managua, July 28)

Zelaya said he will set up bases in Nicaragua to press for his return to office. Supporters who cross over from neighboring Honduras will receive food, water and shelter, Zelaya told reporters from his Ocotal base. About 3,000 people have made their way into Nicaragua so far, he said. “There are more than 300 hidden routes through the mountains,” Zelaya said. “There will be more ways to resist.” (Bloomberg, July 29) The Nicaraguan government has requested humanitarian aid from the United Nations for the camps of Zelaya’s followers. (Xinhua, July 30)

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