As reported yesterday from the perspective of the participants in the demonstration against the new government and for the return of Manuel Zelaya, it was said that the military initiated the conflict with the demonstrators. Recently I interviewed a high ranking Honduran military officer in Tegucigalpa, and he tells a different story than what is being officially reported.
The officer claims that protesters had wire cutters (I did see protesters with wire cutters) and began cutting the chain link fence and ripping it down. The crowd convened onto the fence, ready to rush onto the tarmac at the airport. Shots were fired from the military, however as of right now it is uncertain whether the casualties were the result of a military issued weapon.
As the rally came to a close, the police arrested 20 Nicaraguans from the crowd, who were armed with .357 pistols. Right now they are being detained and questioned as to their entry into the country and actions at the rally. Besides the Nicaraguans that were arrested yesterday, the officer claimed that there were foreigners from Cuba and Venezuela as well. He was unable or unwilling to provide more details on the other nationals.
The military is doing an autopsy on the bodies, checking the ballistics of the entry and exit wounds, and looking for the round. There is speculation within the military that it was armed protesters who fired the killing shots, as of yet no conclusion has been reached.
The Honduran army has troops stationed along the border with Nicaragua at various posts, much like the Border Patrol in the United States. They too are hearing that Nicaragua has troops moving to the border, but they have no confirmation on the matter. The Honduran military is prepared to defend itself and its borders.
I am unable to provide the name and rank of the officer who provided the interview, for his own personal safety and for his career as well.
Editor’s note: Hunter and I have been discussing for several hours on how to proceed. We have been trying to get the US Embassy to discuss but Hunter keeps getting the run around. He has not seen anything in the local press (which surprises us and gives us some pause) and I have not seen anything on the internet. Hunter is publishing this with the knowledge that it has not been confirmed with any other source besides the one officer. If linking or quoting, please note that he is still trying to get confirmation but has hit a brick wall. If someone has the ability or contacts to confirm or deny, please do so.
Update: New releases from El Heraldo:
12:17 PM Innocent. The national commissioner for Human Rights, Ramón Custodio, said it wasn't the soldiers that shot the young man who died yesterday.
01:31 PM Interference. Commissioner Hector Ivan Mejia said they they have identified in the demonstrations supporting Manuel Zelaya foreign nationals from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
02:54 PM Intervention. The Nicaraguan Army reiterated today that they have not mobilized their troops to the Honduran border, as said Sunday by President Roberto Micheletti.
03:16 PM Borders. The Defense Secretary called upon the people to be calm and not to fear a military intervention from Nicaragua.
03:21 PM Nicaraguans. Four people of Nicaraguan nationality, who intended to join the protests in favor of Zelaya, were detained this afternoon by the police, while coming to the north of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
03:22 PM Almost 100. According to the subcommittee of the Metropolitan Police, so far 96 Nicaraguan citizens have been detained during this time of convulsion in Honduras.