Friday, July 3, 2009

First Impressions

The police were waiting outside the gate at the airport once our plane arrived in Tegucigalpa. After clearing immigration and customs, I noticed that family and friends of travelers were not allowed to wait inside the airport, forced to wait outside the main entrance. I assumed that the government requested a stronger police presence inside the airport, preparing for Manuel Zelaya's return to Honduras. Before finding a taxi to take me to my hotel I picked up a copy of El Heraldo which showed the extent of yesterday's protests. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of my taxi driver's knowledge, but he confirmed my suspicions that the police force is rotating officers at the airport, ready for "Mel" to return.

After reading through today's issue of
El Heraldo I decided to head straight off to the Presidential Palace where I assumed there would be more protests. As I navigated through the streets I passed numerous locals waiving flags, holding up signs and banners, and chanting in the streets. I continued in the direction they came from, hoping to encounter similar demonstrations I saw in the local papers. I made my way to the street behind the Presidential Palace and saw a couple hundred people scattered about, some walking down the streets, others gathered on the sidewalk, and some surrounding the local media news crew, chanting and talking with the journalists. The crowds were voicing their support for their government's actions. They held up signs demanding that they maintain democracy, no to communism, and that Manuel Zelaya remain outside of the country.

Currently, there is a curfew in place in Tegucigalpa. I have been told the official time to be off the streets is 10:00 PM, while I have been recommended to be inside my hotel by 9. The army is on foot, patrolling the streets surrounding the Presidential Palace and maintaining a presence on the street corners. The police are supplementing the army positions, also on foot and driving around ready to maintain the peace. Despite the increased law enforcement presence, the streets are calm, citizens are continuing on with their lives (once they finish demonstrating their support or disapproval with the government), and consumer goods prices remain stable.

I am being told that Manuel Zelaya will be returning to Honduras this weekend, with a strong belief that it will be Sunday. There is speculation as to whether he will be flown in or snuck into the country in an unmarked vehicle so that he is not arrested immediately upon arrival. His supporters worry about his return, fearing for his personal safety. Others are wondering why the US is not supporting the actions of Honduras. They cannot understand why the US is condemning the actions of their government, claiming that democratic procedures must be followed, even though they have followed their constitutional process.

For some more detailed explanation of the actions taken by the Honduran government and the removal of Manuel Zelaya, check out the articles by
Octavio Sanchez and Erick Erickson.

Update: A quick explanation of the pictures: The sign in the first picture reads, "Our country is not for sale. Those that want to sell it are out."

Also, the squad patrolling the streets looks very vigilante and aware of their surroundings. Before I pulled my camera out they were complacent and uninterested in their work. As soon as I had my camera pointed at them they put on a different face. The soldiers behind the gate were standing guard at one of the entrances at the Presidential Palace.

Regarding the demonstrations that occurred within Honduras yesterday, July 2nd, here is a list of numbers attended according to the July 3 issue of El Heraldo:

Number of Protesters for the New Government:

Tegucigalpa - 55,000
Choluteca - 25,000
San Pedro Sula - 50,000

Number of Protesters against the New Government

Tegucigalpa - 3,000

El Heraldo
continues by stating that the reoccurring themes within the rallies in favor of the new government were that the protesters were in favor of democracy, asked for peace within the country, and respect of the law. Also, downtown Tegucigalpa is now being plagued with graffiti against the new government.


  1. Thank you

    I want to say more, but, that is all I can get out

    Thank you

  2. Thank you for keeping us up-dated ...

  3. Hunter,

    Thank you for establishing this blog and providing on-the-ground reporting. I am certain your perspective will be far-and-away more concise and truthful than what we will learn from the mainstream media and the corrupt White House press office.

    Please take care and have a Happy Fourth. We take for granted the freedom the Hondurans are fighting for.

  4. Great, thanks! Citizen journalism at its best ...

  5. Thank you for onsite reports, they appear to be without bias.
    I was planning to be in Honduras the end of July for a mission trip to drill water wells, it will probably get canceled because of this goon.

  6. I appreciate the fact that you are taking the time to report on this situation. Just today I told a friend that as we are celebrating the birthday of the original land of the free and home of the brave, we should praise Hondurans that for being brave so they too can be free.

    I'm completely biased, I believe in the transition. I hope that in your reporting you will find that to be true. I created a video for the world to see the majority that are supporting the new government, in the comments you will see links from those that opposed it. I will let everyone make their own conclusions.

    Again, thank you.

  7. Thank you for coming all the way here to see for yourself what is happening in my country, and for sharing with others through your blog. Honduras Abandoned is a sad name... although we have felt the quick judgement of the international community... But perhaps in some days , you might consider changing the name to Honduras Full of Hope, or as a lot of us are referring to our country now: Honduras, the Little Country that Could.
    The truth of all that had been happening in Honduras is coming to light, and we are confident that the international community will not turn their back on us and on our efforts to preserve our Democracy and guard our Constitution.
    God bless you and God bless Honduras!

  8. The first picture I see is of a light blue poster with a picture of a white gorilla on it. The words on it are in Spanish and mean, "To jail with all Golpistas. Out dog and all the followers. Out Micheletti and all the corrupt ones. To jail with Barrileti." Perhaps your first picture is different. The term "Golpista" appears several times, it would be nice were it defined.

  9. Please put up a tip jar, or point at someone else who has one to manage it you.

  10. Thank you for all your work. I posted this on a Christian Science Monitor news blog:

    This story mentions Cardinal Rodriguez's support for the new government and his wish that Zelaya stay out of the country. He is the highest ranking Catholic official in Honduras.

    I hope you have some time to see the country. Many areas are beautiful and serene. La Ceiba is very nice. I remember great kindness from people in "los llanos" during the Sandinista debacle in the mid-1980s. The people of Honduras deserve better than to be spat upon by the OAS and other outsiders. The elected officials are taking care of business, too bad this goes against the ideology of the leftists who are seemingly never happy until there is a violent revolution. Meanwhile they are anxious to bring totalitarian Cuba into the fold!

    Best of luck in your endeavors.

  11. I'm too am completely biased & I believe in the transition, but am hungry for more information.
    Thanks for the first blog.