Ousted president Manuel Zelaya has stepped back briefly into his homeland Honduras in defiance of the military. Accompanied by a pack of international reporters, the former leader made the symbolic gesture risking immediate arrest but quickly returned onto the Nicaraguan side of the frontier. Leftist Zelaya was toppled by a military coup in June and sent into exile. He has vowed to return but Washington has warned against it without a political deal in place.
The Honduran political crisis stems from Zelaya’s determination to hold a referendum that could have led to changes in the country’s constitution, but Congress ruled it illegal. The de facto government that replaced him says it was an approved transfer of power but his outsting brought international condemnation. The political turmoil has split the country with growing tension between rival supporters.