Troops detain Honduras president: government
TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduran soldiers detained leftist President
Manuel Zelaya on Sunday in a constitutional crisis over his attempt to
win re-election, government officials said.
Troops took Zelaya, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, from his
residence to an unknown location, Eduardo Reina, the president's private
secretary, told Reuters.
He said shots were fired during the incident, but that could not be
"We have received reports that he was taken to a military air base,"
Rafael Alegria, a senior government official, told pro-Zelaya television
station Channel 8.
The president fired the armed forces chief of staff last week for
refusing to help him organize an unofficial referendum on Sunday on
allowing presidents to serve more than a single four-year term.
The impoverished Central American country had been politically stable
since the end of military rule in the early 1980s, but Zelaya's push to
change the constitution to allow him another term has split the country's
The Supreme Court last week came out against Zelaya and ordered him to
reinstate fired military chief General Romeo Vasquez -- a move the
president said amounted to a "coup" against him.
The pro-government TV channel on Sunday called on Zelaya supporters to
gather in the capital to support the president, but then went off the air
without explanation. Phone calls to the presidential palace went
lobal economic crisis has curbed growth in Honduras, which lives off
coffee and textile exports and remittances from Honduran workers abroad.
Recent opinion polls have shown that public support for Zelaya has fallen
as low as 30 percent.
Honduras, home to 7 million people, is a major drug trafficking transit
(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg and Gustavo Palencia; editing by Mohammad
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