They waited in their thousands to give him a hero’s homecoming.
Two years after being ousted as president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya has returned from exile, delighting supporters in the capital Tegucigalpa.
The leftist ex-leader urged them to pursue democracy with what he called “peaceful resistance.”
Having lived mostly in the Dominican Republic since his exile, Zelaya returned after signing a deal with current President Porfirio Lobo.
It paves the way for Honduras to normalise ties with other Latin American nations, several of which have been reluctant to recognise his successor.
The country was plunged into chaos in 2009 when Zelaya was deposed by the army, acting on a court order with backing from Congress. He stood accused of trying to change the constitution in a bid to extend his term in office.
Corruption charges against Zelaya which he slammed as politically motivated have been dropped. He will now be able to participate again in Honduran politics.