Ousted president Zelaya returns to Honduras


TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS (BNO NEWS) — Ousted president Manuel Zelaya on Saturday returned to Honduras after an exile of more than a year, El Heraldo reported.

Zelaya flew in from neighboring Nicaragua after spending 16 months in the Dominican Republic as a distinguished guest. Before leaving the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, he said that “exile is torture” and that his return to Honduras is a “victory” for democracy in Latin America.

Thousands of supporters, some of whom fainted in the heat, waited for him at Toncontin airport in the capital. He was in the company of former president of Panama Martin Torrijos, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and the former mayor of San Pedro Sula Rodolfo Padilla Suncery.

More supporters were waiting for him in the Isis Obed Murillo square, named after an 18-year-old protester who was killed by security forces a week after he was ousted on June 28, 2009.

Zelaya’s return was possible after he signed an agreement with his successor Honduran President Porfirio Lobo on Monday. The deal, brokered by Colombia and Venezuela, allowed his return without facing prosecutions and paved the way for Honduras’s re-entry in the Organization of American States.

In June 2009, President Manuel Zelaya was ousted from Honduras after a military coup that prompted mass mobilizations across the country. Protesters who demanded the return of Zelaya were silenced by military forces who arrested, hit, and even killed demonstrators.

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