Protesters in Honduras have been lashing out against a coup for a second day, including roughing up the vice-president of the congress. In the capital Tegucigalpa and other major cities, supporters of President Manuel Zelaya — who has been chased out of the country — met a harsh response from soldiers and police.
Zelaya’s opponents accused him of trying to change the constitution to allow presidential re-election. Talks to resolve the standoff after the June 28 army coup are being led by Costa Rica’s president, but have not got far. The former head of the Honduran Congress, Roberto Micheletti, is in charge of a de facto government. In spite of widespread international condemnation of the coup, he has rejected calls to let Zelaya return. In an appeal for “…the cooperation of the Honduran people,” Micheletti said: “We must remain vigilant to prevent and denounce suspicious gatherings of foreign infiltrators — agents of foreign governments.” Zelaya has been trying to muster support abroad, going to Chili after Brazil. He says another trip to Washington, following up his July 7 visit there, may lead to a way out of the crisis.