The New York Times reports that some progress is being made in negotiations over the future of Honduras but that the central issue of the presidency is unresolved. Micheletti has said he will step down...but not if Zelaya comes back as president, which he is threatening to do shortly.
Massive blockades by Zelaya supporters are going on at this time and, in an act of solidarity, FMLN sympathizers are blockading several customs points on the El Salvador-Honduras border to affect trade. The curfew was lifted for a few days but has now been reimposed.
Meanwhile, the Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH), which is keeping systematic track of these matters, has issued a preliminary report (.doc) showing over 1,155 cases of human rights violations since the coup began. 59 people have been injured or beaten and one demonstrator, 19-year-old Isis Obed Murillo Mencías, was killed by a shot in the head. There have been more than 1,000 people detained, most of them for curfew violations associated with public demonstrations. Additional human rights violations involve impeding or threatening members of the media and shutting down radio stations.
As for the Catholic hierarchy in Honduras, a Zenit article titled "Church Not Taking Sides in Honduras, Says Cardinal" is fairly lathered with His Excellency's bias against the Zelaya administration. Excerpting with added emphasis:
"The Church," [Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga] added, "is not on anyone's side. The Church seeks reconciliation, peace, the search for understanding through dialogue."Oh, yeah? What about:
"Not taking sides"?? Check out what His Excellency said in another interview with Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as reported by John Rosenthal of American Spectator:
"The prelate noted that among the "followers of the preceding regime, there are also many Catholics acting in good faith, since they do not have all the information."?
"Political parties can be legitimate, can have a different way of thinking, but this does not in any way justify a violation of the law," he continued. "If we look back, we find that no law has been respected because the first one in violating it is the highest authority." ?
Rodríguez said that it was "absurd" to qualify Zelaya's removal as a military coup, noting that "there is not a single military official that in any way belongs to the [current "de facto"] government." Accusing Zelaya not only of violating the Honduran constitution, but also of misappropriating international development aid, he insisted that the aim of negotiations "cannot be to bring about Zelaya's return to Honduras and his restoration to the President's office. The man has shown that he is dishonest and incapable of governing within the limits of the constitution."And in another interview with El Mundo as reported by Reuters, Rodriguez said of Zelaya:
"During the crisis, the parliament and the justice system have shown that they are functioning well," Cardinal Rodríguez told the FAZ, "Now everything depends on strengthening these institutions and not following the path taken by Venezuela, Bolivia or Ecuador in systematically discrediting democratic institutions."
"He doesn't have any authority, moral or legal...The legal authority he lost because he broke laws and the moral authority he lost with a discourse full of lies. The most patriotic thing he could do is stay away. Anything else is just trying to impose Hugo Chavez's project at all costs."Por favor, Monseñor Cardenal, deje de mentir porque no estás engañando a nadie. No one is fooled by your "non-aligned" rhetoric.