>The last few days have been quite newsworthy here in Honduras. I wasn’t planning on jumping into the politics so quickly as I am still trying to wrap my head around the situation, but recent events compel me to say a few things.
As a very short and crude summary: (1) about three months ago the President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was expelled from the country by the military on orders from the Supreme Court stemming from his efforts to hold a public consultation asking citizens if they supported moves to change the constitution, (2) the speaker of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti, became the interim President, (3) elections are currently set for November 29, (4) last Monday, Sept 21st, Zelaya clandestinely returned to Tegucigalpa (the capital) and is currently staying within the Brazilian embassy.
I flew into San Pedro Sula (the other major city in Honduras) on Sept 19th. We drove around the city running a few errands before making our way to Santa Lucia where one of the two Shoulder to Shoulder clinics is located. Everything was normal then, just folks going about their daily business. Since Zelaya’s return, however, there have been demonstrations, arrests, and some violence in both Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula; several nationwide curfews; diplomats prevented from entering the country; two news outlets shut down, one TV station and one radio station; and a decree curtailing several constitutionally protected rights, namely freedoms of travel, public congregation, and expression.
The town of Santa Lucia in the department of Intibuca is about 6-8 hours from either Tegucigapla or San Pedro Sula along some pretty rough roads. To be honest, aside from conversations during meals, I have seen no noticeable signs of any turmoil or anything even remotely out of the ordinary here. There is virtually no military presence in this area and people seem relatively unfazed. So, for anyone worrying, I feel both safe and secure currently.
For additional information, you can take a look through this sampling of recent stories:
Ousted president Zelaya Returns to Honduras
Honduras Bars Diplomats as Political Crisis Grows
Honduras Shuts Down Media Outlets, Then Relents
US to Honduras: End emergency decree now
Pressure Mounts on Honduras to End Coup Crisis
>yikes alan! stay safe. and keep writing!