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July 3, 2009

The Honduran coup d'etat

Earlier this year, the unpopular president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, introduced a referendum as a first step toward drafting a new constitution. Opposition to the referendum was strong, with the Honduran Congress, Supreme Court and military all declaring it illegal. Zelaya fired the head of the military for not providing support for the referendum - but was thwarted by the Supreme Court, who deemed the firing illegal, and reinstated General Romeo Velasquez to his post. On Sunday, June 28th, the Honduran Army, under orders from the Supreme Court, stormed the presidential residence, arrested president Zelaya and put him on a plane to Costa Rica, then took possession of the residence. The head of Congress, Roberto Micheletti, then assumed the role of Interim President of Honduras. Internally split, Hondurans have taken to the streets both in support of Zelaya and in opposition to his return. International reactions have been unanimously negative, the action condemned as a coup by the UN, the Organization of American States, the U.S. and every other country in Latin America. Efforts are underway now to resolve the issue, with great international pressure on Honduras. (35 photos total)

Supporters of ousted Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya clash with soldiers near the presidential residency Tegucigalpa, Monday, June 29. 2009. Police fired tear gas to hold back thousands of Hondurans outside the occupied presidential residency as world leaders from Barack Obama to Hugo Chavez appealed to Honduras to reverse a coup that ousted the president. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (center right, cowboy hat) and a group of his supporters enter an air force base in Tegucigalpa, Thursday, June 25, 2009. Earlier today, the Supreme Court ordered police to remove all electoral material that would have been used in a planned constitutional referendum to be stored at the air force base but President Zelaya and his supporters headed to the military base on their own and took ballots and other materials out in military trucks and headed to an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Diario La Prensa) #

Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya watches as his supporters take away boxes with electoral material at the air force base in Tegucigalpa, Thursday, June 25, 2009. The material was for a planned constitutional referendum that had been deemed illegal by the Honduran Supreme Court, Congress and military leadership. (AP Photo) #

Honduran troops take up positions and surround the residence of President Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa June 28, 2009. Zelaya was arrested later by troops who entered his home ahead of a controversial constitutional referendum, Zelaya's private secretary Enrique Reina said. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Army soldiers break into the presidential residency in Tegucigalpa, Sunday, June 28, 2009. More than a dozen soldiers arrested President Manuel Zelaya and disarmed his security guards after surrounding his residence before dawn Sunday, his private secretary said. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

Soldiers patrol inside the presidential residency in Tegucigalpa June 29, 2009. (REUTERS/Edgard Garrido) #

Soldiers gather at the Libertad square near to the presidential house as people demonstrate against the arrest and exile of President Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa, Monday, June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

Riot police disperse supporters of ousted Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya near the presidential residency in Tegucigalpa, Monday, June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

Supporters of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya protest against the coup d'etat near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa on June 28, 2009. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images) #

The red stream of a water cannon falls over supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Protesters supporting ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya throw stones at soldiers and policemen during clashes near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. (Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Soldiers react during clashes with supporters of ousted Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya after violence broke out near the presidential residencce in Tegucigalpa, Monday, June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) #

Soldiers chase supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint after violence broke out near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa, Monday June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) #

Honduran soldiers protect themselves with shields during clashes with supporters of Manuel Zelaya near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Honduran soldiers surround a small group of supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya after violence broke out near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa on Monday June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) #

A supporter of Manuel Zelaya throws a stone at soldiers and police officers near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa, Monday June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

Honduran soldiers take cover as they battle with supporters of Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa on Monday June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

A soldier fires his weapon toward supporters of Manuel Zelaya during a protest in Tegucigalpa June 29, 2009. (REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas (HONDURAS POLITICS CONFLICT) #

A supporter of Manuel Zelaya throws a canister of tear gas back at soldiers near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa on Monday, June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

A protester clashes with Honduran soldiers in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. (Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Honduran riot police beat protesters during clashes in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. (Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Police corner AP photographer Dario Lopez-Mills after he took photographs of police charging at a supporter of ousted President Manuel Zelaya during protests in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. Lopez-Mills was not injured in the incident. (REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas) #

A demonstrator lies on the street, asking for help during clashes between supporters of Manuel Zelaya and soldiers and policemen in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Manuel Zelaya, the ousted president of Honduras, addresses the U.N. General Assembly, Tuesday, June 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Yanina Manolova) #

General Romeo Vasquez, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, earlier fired by Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya for refusing to support a referendum, later reinstated by the Supreme Court, is seen during a protest in Tegucigalpa, Friday, June 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

Soldiers read a newspaper outside of the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa, Tuesday June 30, 2009, a day after violence broke out in the area. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) #

Thousands march against the return of ousted Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya in downtown San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Diario La Prensa de San Pedro Sula) #

Supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya take part in a rally to protest against the military coup in Tegucigalpa on July 1, 2009. (Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Soldiers stand guard in front of a hotel near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

An officer from the Army brings bread to his soldiers that now stand guard inear the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa on July 1, 2009. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Supporters of Manuel Zelaya hold an undercover police officer they discovered infiltrating their march, showing his badge and weapon, in Tegucigalpa on July 1, 2009. (ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

A soldier and a police officer take away a supporter of Manuel Zelaya in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Diario La Prensa de San Pedro Sula) #

Soldiers keep watch behind their shields at the National Congress in Tegucigalpa on July 1, 2009. (REUTERS/Edgard Garrido (HONDURAS CONFLICT POLITICS) #

Supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya shout at army soldiers guarding a government building during a protest in Tegucigalpa, Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

Bomb squad members study the damage at a fast-food restaurant after a grenade exploded in Tegucigalpa in the early morning of July 03, 2009. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)#

 
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