Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), arrived today in Honduras to conduct negotiations with the interim government. The OAS has issued an ultimatum, saying they will revoke Honduras’s membership unless deposed president Zelaya is returned to power by this weekend.
Insulza made clear that he “was not going to Honduras to negotiate,” but to tell the Honduran government to reinstate Zelaya. They have said they may be open to holding early elections.
However, interim president Roberto Micheletti has publicly stated that Honduras is not open to outside influence. “We have established a democratic government and we will not cede to pressure from anyone. We are a sovereign country,” he said.
Zelaya was deposed by the army last Sunday over his controversial attempts to change the constitution. Critics say he was trying to increase his term limits, a line the interim government has held to. Zelaya has agreed to postpone his return until after the diplomatic mission.
There have been protests both for and against the new government. In San Pedro Sula, Honduras’s second largest city with over 1m inhabitants, Micheletti has installed his nephew as mayor, reports Telesur.
At 11am this morning, protestors reporting hearing gun shots. In the ensuing chaos, some 50 people were arrested. The mayor, Rodolfo Padilla Sunseri, has reportedly not been seen since.
Allegedly, William Hall Micheletti, nephew of acting president Micheletti, has since been installed as mayor. In elections in November 2008, Sunseri won 63% of the vote, while William Hall Micheletti gained 16%.