The situation is critical tonight and all interested international observers should urge their governments to support the efforts of Brazil’s President Lula di Silva to resolve the Honduran crisis through the United Nations.
The Tegucigalpa barrios are literally burning again this evening and children, far too young, are wandering the streets and challenging the police and army. It reminds me of Belfast in that respect – children without fear throwing stones at men with guns – a tragedy waiting to happen. These confrontations were a direct result of the security forces fatally shooting three people and seriously injuring another 20 yesterday morning when they drove resistance supporters from the Brazilian Embassy, chasing them into the surrounding barrios.
Two disastrous things happened to day. I was not surprised when the curfew was first extended from 6am to 6pm but call after call to the TV programmes had people demanding the curfew be lifted so that food could be purchased and essential errands like medical appointments kept. The vacillating junta capitulated around 10am and the word spread immediately by cell phones and people charged out to the centre, the supermarkets and banks.
From 10am until 2pm there was chaos and panic buying across the city. In the afternoon people began looting the supermarkets, desperate to obtain supplies before the re-imposition of the curfew, a serious provocation for the Golpistas who have vowed to maintain security and order.
The second terrible decision of the junta was to organise a pro-coup ‘Camisas Blancas’ march which of course is bound for the Brazilian Embassy and the resistance was also gathering in the hotel district and at the UN building in the Colonia Palmira bound for the same destination. I have not been able to find out what happened at that flash point. (I have since heard the pro-government march has been rescheduled for tomorrow). The Golpistas are losing control and the civil war we feared is fast developing.
New reports today broadcast film and interviews confirming large violent clashes between protesters and the security forces in at least 10 barrios; Arturo Quesada, Barrio Morazán, Centroamérica Oeste, Cerro Grande, Ciudad Lempira, Colonia 21 de Febrero, Colonia 21 de Octubre, El Bosque, El Chile, and Flor del Campo and resistance sources claim as many as 20 were involved.
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