Troops continue to surround the Brazilian embassy in Honduras, where the ousted Honduran president is seeking refuge.
Running water, electricity and telephone lines have been cut off. Inside the embassy are thought to be more than 160 people but the one man the Honduran troops want is Manuel Zelaya, who returned yesterday three months after being exiled in a coup. The Brazilian leader has called for an emergency meeting of the UN security council to resolve the crisis. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that by housing Zelaya at the embassy, “Brazil had only done what any democratic country would do when a citizen asks for asylum. It guarantees he stays there.” Lula also warned the coup leaders “not to touch the Brazilian embassy.” Twenty four hours earlier, there were scenes of celebration at the embassy as Zelaya appeared in public in Honduras for the first time since he was forced to leave at gunpoint. The coup came after he had tried to change the constitution to allow him a second term in office. Honduras’ de facto president, Roberto Micheletti said: “(Zelaya) should understand he has legal problems in this country, should respect the law and hand himself over to authorities. Otherwise he will have to pay with jail time for his irresponsibility.” Micheletti later revealed he would be willing to speak directly with Zelaya. Zelaya’s supporters defied a curfew to hold a rally infront of the embassy on Monday, before troops intervened with tear gas and batons. Airports have been closed and roadblocks set up as the capital goes into lockdown.