Interim president’s visa revoked to pressure government into reinstating Zelaya.
“Zelaya apparently went into the country by land, and they wanted this to be completely in secret, in the middle of the night.
“There is a crowd gathering outside of the United Nations building in Tegucigalpa and they’re waiting to see him. But we haven’t had confirmation that anyone has actually seen him there.”
Scores of Zelaya supporters celebrated outside the UN office in the Honduran capital after hearing of the deposed leader’s apparent return.
Ian Kelly, a spokesman for the US state department, said that Zelaya was in Honduras, although he said that US officials did not know his precise location.
A spokeswoman for the Honduran embassy in Nicaragua, where Zelaya had been exiled, said that Zelaya was in Tegucigalpa.
“He is in Honduras and calling the resistance to gather in front of the United Nations and protect the constitutional president of Honduras,” Elizabeth Sierra said.
But Ana Elsy Mendoza, a spokeswoman at the United Nations’ offices in Tegucigalpa, told The Associated Press that Zelaya was not inside the building.
“I have no idea where that story came from,” she said.
Roberto Micheletti, the president of the military-backed interim government, also said that Zelaya is not in the Honduran capital.
Zelaya’s apparent return to Honduras comes despite warnings by the country’s military-backed interim government that he would be arrested if he came home.
“If it is true that Zelaya is in the United Nations building, arresting him there would be a lot harder [as] he would be getting the protection of the United Nations,” Villamizar said.
Zelaya was forced from power by the military on June 28, the same day that he planned to hold a non-binding referendum on changes to the constitution.
The country’s supreme court and congress opposed the public vote, saying that Zelaya was trying to win support to allow presidents to serve more than a single term.
|People celebrated in Tegucigalpa after hearing of Zelaya’s apparent return home [AFP]|
Zelaya has denied the claims, saying that the constitutional changes he sought were aimed at improving the lives of the poor.
The coup was condemned by the US government, the European Union and governments across Latin America.
The deposed president had tried on two separate occasions to return to his home country.
On his first attempt on July 5, his aircraft was prevented from landing at Tegucigalpa, while a second effort to re-enter the country by land on July 25 was prevented by Honduran security forces.