Manuel Zelaya
President of Honduras
Manuel Zelaya
José Manuel Zelaya Rosales is a politician who was President of Honduras from January 27, 2006 until June 28, 2009. The eldest son of a wealthy businessman, he inherited his father's nickname "Mel", and, before entering politics, was involved in his family's logging and timber businesses. Elected as a conservative, Zelaya shifted to the political left during his presidency, forging an alliance with the ALBA.
Manuel Zelaya's personal information overview.
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Honduran President to seek a second term, opposition cries foul
Yahoo News - 5 months
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Wednesday said he would seek re-election next year, despite warnings from the opposition that his plans violate the constitution of the violent Central American nation. The Supreme Court paved Hernandez' way by issuing a ruling last year that overturned an explicit constitutional ban on presidential reelection, after the 2009 ouster of former leftist President Manuel Zelaya who sought a referendum on the issue. Hernandez, a conservative lawyer who took office in 2014, is the favorite to win his National Party primaries in March.
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Yahoo News article
Is Human Rights Watch Too Closely Aligned with US Foreign Policy?
Huffington Post - 6 months
It has ignored repression by regimes close to Washington and dismissed criticism--by Nobel laureates--of its conflicts of interest. Human-rights organizations are supposed to defend universal principles such as the rule of law and freedom from state repression. But when they are based in the United States and become close to the US government, they often find themselves aligned with US foreign policy. This damages their credibility and can hurt the cause of human rights. Recent events in Latin America have highlighted this problem. On August 29, the Brazilian Senate removed the elected president, Dilma Rousseff, from office, even though the federal prosecutor assigned to her case had determined that the accounting procedures for which she was being impeached did not constitute a crime. Moreover, leaked transcripts of phone calls between political leaders of the impeachment showed that they were trying to get rid of Dilma in order to protect themselves from investigations into th ...
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Huffington Post article
Path cleared for Honduras president to seek re-election
Yahoo News - 7 months
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been cleared a path to run for re-election next year -- despite similar constitutional tinkering ending in the forced ouster of a predecessor in 2009. The full Supreme Court of 15 judges on Wednesday ruled invalid a prohibition in the constitution of the Central American country barring presidents from serving more than one term. Lobo Sosa was voted into the presidency in 2009, months after his predecessor, Manuel Zelaya, was toppled by the military acting and hustled out of the country.
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Yahoo News article
Some Immigrant Rights Activists Remain Distrustful Of Hillary Clinton
Huffington Post - 8 months
PHILADELPHIA ― As a child of Mexican immigrants who grew up in an Arizona border town, immigration is one of the issues closest to Rosa’s heart. Her daughter’s father is undocumented, so she has a personal stake in seeing the country’s system is reformed.   But don’t expect Rosa to vote for Hillary Clinton. Instead, she was one of hundreds who’d gathered at City Hall here on Monday to urge the Democratic Party to support a moratorium on deportations and dismantle a detention system that’s congressionally mandated to keep 34,000 spaces to lock up immigrants every night. Rosa now lives in the South, and says she’ll probably vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. “I can’t see Clinton doing anything different on immigration,” Rosa, who declined to be identified by her full name to protect her daughter’s father, told The Huffington Post. “The only way for us to move forward is to organize ourselves.” No One Repels Latino Voters Like Donald Trump Donald Trump was the per ...
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Huffington Post article
Clinton insists she hasn't changed her position on 2009 Honduras coup
LATimes - 11 months
Seven years ago, in the middle of the night, soldiers burst into the bedroom of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Still in his pajamas, the president was forced at gunpoint onto a waiting jet and flown to exile.Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among many officials around the world who...
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LATimes article
Latin American leftist parties reject Brazil 'coup'
Yahoo News - 11 months
The text was read in Nicaragua's capital Managua by COPPAL's vice president, Francisco Rosales. It drew parallels with a 2009 coup in Honduras that ousted president Manuel Zelaya and a 2012 impeachment in Paraguay of its president, Fernando Lugo. Brazil's Congress over the weekend voted overwhelmingly in favor of impeaching Rousseff on the grounds she improperly used loans from state banks to paper over a budget gap, something she denies is grounds for impeachment.
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Yahoo News article
Honduras high court voids ban on presidential re-election
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday voided an article in the constitution limiting presidents to a single term — the issue at the heart of the political conflict that led to the ouster of socialist President Manuel Zelaya six years ago when he sought to hold a referendum on rewriting the constitution.
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Yahoo News article
Top Honduran court paves way for presidents to seek re-election
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
The Supreme Court of Honduras on Thursday struck down a law that banned presidents from seeking a second term, paving the way for their re-election, a contentious issue at the heart of a coup six years ago. The decision would allow President Juan Orlando Hernandez to extend his rule, a prospect that opposition parties say is being pushed by ruling National Party leaders. The unanimous decision from the five-member court was applauded by former President Rafael Callejas, a 71-year-old member of the ruling party who has said he would like to run again. The fight over presidential reelection led to a bitter political stand-off that ended in a coup against former President Manuel Zelaya in 2009.
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Yahoo News article
To Defend the Environment, Support Social Movements Like Berta Cáceres and COPINH
Inter Press Service News Agency - almost 2 years
Berta Cáceres. Courtesy of the Goldman Prize By Jeff Conant BERKELEY, California, Apr 20 2015 (IPS) The 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for Central and South America has been awarded to Berta Cáceres, an indigenous Honduran woman who co-founded the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, known as COPINH. If there is one lesson to be learned from the events that earned Cáceres the prize it is this: to defend the environment, we must support the social movements.COPINH’s leadership has made it a driving force in preserving the country’s cultural and environmental heritage – and earned it the ire of loggers, dam-builders, palm oil interests, and others whose wealth depends on the depredation of the natural world and its defenders. Like many nations rich in natural resources, Honduras, in the heart of Central America, is a country plagued by a resource curse. Its rich forests invite exploitation by logging interests; its mineral wealth is sought by mining inte ...
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Inter Press Service News Agency article
Blowback on the Border: America's Child Refugee Crisis
Huffington Post - over 2 years
After three years of relative silence, the U.S. press has finally "discovered" the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors piling up on the U.S. border. Although the coverage often began with moving stories of the hardships these young migrants faced, it soon turned ugly. For right-wing pundits and politicians, the "humanitarian crisis" has become a crackdown on kids. The dominant narrative has been that foolish parents, perhaps duped by scheming criminal bands, are sending hapless children north to take advantage of loopholes in U.S. immigration practices. This is just plain wrong. On every count. Knowing the Risks First, parents and migrating youth are not naive. They usually know the dangers, which include injury, rape, extortion, kidnapping, and even death. Parents carefully consider the risks before making the decision to spend thousands of dollars to send their children away. The three countries responsible for the increase in child migrants are Honduras ...
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Huffington Post article
Clouds Over Honduras
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Honduras' new president, Juan Orlando Hernández, took office on January 27. However, given ongoing questions about his victory in November's election, the legitimacy of Hernández's presidency remains in doubt. On this shaky democratic mandate, Hernández will likely continue to militarize Honduran society while implementing more of the neoliberal economic measures that have increased income inequality in the country since the 2009 coup d'état, which deposed the populist president Manuel Zelaya. These developments bode poorly for the consolidation of democracy in Honduras, where the military has committed human rights violations with impunity throughout the post-coup era. Continued repression in this increasingly polarized country will dim hopes for regional stability and democratization in post-coup Honduras. A Return to Democracy? In anticipation of November's election, many Hondurans held high hopes about a return to democracy four years after the military ousted the democraticall ...
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Huffington Post article
Juan Orlando Hernandez Sworn In As President In Honduras
Huffington Post - about 3 years
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez was sworn in as president Monday after a speech in which he urged the U.S. to continue support for Honduras' counter-narcotics operations and promised an iron-fist approach on crime. "Honduras is going through one of the most difficult periods when it comes to security, 80 percent of the drugs heading to the United States go through the country leaving behind death, pain and mourning," Hernandez said. The 46-year-old lawyer said about 70 percent of homicides are linked to drug trafficking. Honduras had a 2011 homicide rate of 91.6 per 100,000, according to the United Nations. Hernandez said the U.S. must recognize its responsibility for Honduras' homicide rate, the world's highest for a country not at open war. He replaces fellow conservative Porfirio Lobo, who took office in 2010 amid a crisis set off by the ousting of leftist Manuel Zelaya. Weeks before he was elected president, Hernandez as president of Congress ...
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Huffington Post article
Honduran LGBT Activists Fear Ongoing Threat Upon Hernández Inauguration
Huffington Post - about 3 years
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Erick Martínez remembers exactly where he was when Erick Martínez was killed. Erick Vidal Martínez, today one of Honduras's most high-profile LGBT activists, was supposed to meet Erick Martínez Avila at one in the afternoon on an otherwise temperate spring day in May 2012. Martínez Avila had been selected to be the representative of the LGBT community in the congressional primaries for Honduras's new leftist political party, the Party of Libery and Refoundation (known by its acronym, LIBRE, which is Spanish for "free"). But the LGBT community had planned to meet on May 6, 2012 to hold a full assembly in order to ensure that all voices, including transsexual and transgender members of the community, could provide input on the campaign ahead. "The meeting was scheduled at 2:00 p.m., but we had talked about getting together beforehand.," Martínez said. "Then 3 o'clock came around, then 3:30, and he didn't show up. People started to believe that he didn't w ...
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Huffington Post article
World Bank's Lending Arm Linked To Deadly Honduras Conflict
Huffington Post - about 3 years
The World Bank's private lending arm failed to apply its own ethical standards in disbursing millions of dollars to a palm oil company accused of turning a region of Honduras into a war zone, according to an internal bank investigation. The audit, released Friday by the World Bank’s Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, says IFC staff underestimated the social and environmental risks related to the security and land conflict associated with its investment in palm oil giant Corporacion Dinant. The audit and the bank’s response to it are a major test of World Bank President Jim Kim’s pledge to learn from mistakes made in the multi-billion dollar business of providing loans and risk guarantees for IFC private sector projects. The CAO investigation found the IFC disbursed $15 million to Dinant in November 2009, even though the client was in “apparent non-compliance with its [environmental and social] undertakings in a risk environment that had deteriorated significantly since ...
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Huffington Post article
Thousands March To Demand Vote Recount In Honduras
Huffington Post - over 3 years
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Thousands of people marched peacefully Sunday in Honduras' capital to support opposition presidential candidate Xiomara Castro in her claim that last weekend's election was fraudulent. The electoral court has declared conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez of the ruling National Party as the winner. The court said that with 96 percent of ballots counted, Hernandez had 37 percent and Castro was second with 29 percent. Six other candidates shared the remaining votes. Both Castro and her husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted by a coup in 2009, led the protest march from a pickup truck carrying the body of a militant of their Libre Party, who was shot to death hours before the demonstration began. "We are here to denounce the culture of death promoted since the coup, this can only be a political crime," said Zelaya, whose removal from office has left Honduras polarized. Libre Party supporter Jose Ardon was kidnapped late Saturday and was fou ...
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Huffington Post article
Thousands take to the streets in Honduras to protest election result
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Gustavo Palencia TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' defeated leftist presidential candidate, the wife of ousted former leader Manuel Zelaya, led thousands of supporters onto the streets of Tegucigalpa on Sunday to protest an election result she has called fraudulent. The demonstration by a crowd estimated at several thousand people passed off peacefully, which analysts said offered some hope for political stability. The ruling National Party's Juan Hernandez, who is head of Congress, won last week's election with 36.8 percent of votes, according to the country's election tribunal. Xiomara Castro ran as the candidate of the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) - a coalition of leftist politicians, unions and indigenous groups founded by her husband.
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Yahoo News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Manuel Zelaya
  • 2014
    Age 61
    Barahona said it was time for Hondurans who support policies in favor of the poor and other themes that Zelaya espoused to shift their focus to the 2014 elections.
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  • 2011
    Age 58
    Honduran President Porforio Lobo met with Zelaya in Cartagena, Colombia on 22 May 2011.
    More Details Hide Details They both signed an agreement that allowed Zelaya to return to Honduras from exile. Six days later, on 28 May, Zelaya flew back to Honduras aboard a Conviasa jet and was greeted by thousands of his supporters at the airport. He gave a conciliatory speech that called for political reconciliation and increased democracy in the country. In 2015 and 2016, emails by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were released subsequent to disputes over the Secretary's use of private email accounts for government communications. Some critics, who are not named in this article, have argued that, despite President Obama's public support for Zelaya and condemnation of the coup, these communications suggest that the Secretary seemed more interested in ensuring that previously scheduled elections for the new president proceeded in November, rather than taking a strong stand insisting that Zelaya be restored in the meantime. And Zeleya himself has criticized both Clinton and the Obama administration saying, "On the one hand, they condemned the coup, but on the other hand, they were negotiating with the leaders of the coup."
  • 2010
    Age 57
    Zelaya left Honduras on January 27, 2010 for the Dominican Republic, along with his wife, two children, and President Fernández of the Dominican Republic.
    More Details Hide Details Zelaya and his family continue to live in the Dominican Republic. Several countries in the region continued to see Zelaya as the legitimate Honduran head of state.
    On 20 January 2010, the Dominican Republic and Honduran President-elect Lobo agreed to a deal that would allow Zelaya to be transported safely from the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa where he had been, to the Dominican Republic upon Lobo taking office on 27 January.
    More Details Hide Details Lobo stated that he would ensure Zelaya would leave safely and "with dignity." Lobo negotiated with Dominican President Leonel Fernández. Lobo also discussed the situation with former presidential candidates, who signed onto a joint statement on the agreement, which also requested that sanctions against Honduras as a result of the coup be lifted. The next day, Zelaya agreed to the deal. A close advisor said Zelaya would remain politically active and hoped to later return to political activity.
    In a newspaper interview shortly before his removal from office, Zelaya stated that he had every intention of stepping down when his term ends in January 2010.
    More Details Hide Details The Associated Press, citing Manuel Orozco of the Inter American Dialogue, said that "His Zelaya's campaign for changing the constitution has energized his support base of labour groups, farmers and civil organisations who have long felt marginalized in a country where a wealthy elite controls the media and much of politics." The Supreme Court, without deciding on the constitutionality of the poll, ruled that a lower court ruling blocking the referendum was lawful
    Zelaya denied that his motive was to stay in office, stating that he intended to step down in January 2010 as scheduled, noting that his successor would be elected at the same time the vote on whether to convene a constituent assembly would occur.
    More Details Hide Details Under constitutional law, the President of Honduras can amend the constitution without a referendum if a congressional majority exists. However, eight articles cannot be amended, including those related to term limits, the permitted system of government, and the process of presidential succession. Because the president can amend 368 of the 375 articles in the Honduran constitution without calling a constituent assembly, some suspected that Zelaya's true intention was to extend his rule. One-time Christian Democrat presidential candidate Juan Ramon Martinez argued that Zelaya was attempting to discredit parliamentary democracy, saying, "There appears to be a set of tactics aimed at discrediting institutions... he has repeated on several occasions that democratic institutions are worthless and that democracy has not helped at all".
  • 2009
    Age 56
    On 29 November 2009, a presidential election was held under a state of emergency declared in Decree PCM-M-030-2009.
    More Details Hide Details According to the decree, the Secretary of State of the 'de facto' government was expected to participate in the military command for this state of emergency. Five of the six presidential candidates retained their candidacies, while Carlos H. Reyes had withdrawn his candidacy on 9 November in protest at what he perceived as illegitimacy of the election. Zelaya called for a boycott of the poll. Some Hondurans interviewed by Associated Press said that they "sought to move past the crisis with the elections", which had been scheduled previous to Zelaya's removal. Early returns indicated that conservative Porfirio Lobo was elected with around 55% of the votes. Official numbers for the turnout of the election falsely placed it at around 60%, but subsequently revised the numbers to 49% turnout. Organisations and individuals in Honduras, including the National Resistance Front against the coup d'état in Honduras, Marvin Ponce of the Democratic Unification Party, and Bertha Oliva of COFADEH, and internationally, including Mercosur, President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina and the Union of South American Nations, said that elections held on 29 November under Micheletti would not be legitimate.
    On 29 October 2009, the government of "de facto" president Roberto Micheletti signed what United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a "historic agreement" to let Manuel Zelaya serve the remaining three months of his term. "If Congress agrees", according to Elisabeth Malkin of The New York Times, "control of the army would shift to the electoral court, and the presidential election set for 29 Nov. would be recognized by both sides.
    More Details Hide Details Neither Mr. Zelaya nor Mr. Micheletti will be candidates". When Micheletti announced he had, unilaterally, formed the unity government without input from Zelaya, Zelaya declared the agreement "dead" early on 6 November. The United States sent diplomats to help to resurrect the pact, but Zelaya insisted that he would not accept any deal to restore him to office if it meant he must recognize the elections of 29 November.
    On 21 September 2009, Zelaya and his wife arrived at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.
    More Details Hide Details Zelaya said that to reach the embassy he travelled through mountains for fifteen hours, and took back roads to avoid checkpoints. Zelaya did not state from which country he entered Honduras. Hundreds of Zelaya's supporters surrounded the Brazilian embassy. Zelaya chanted "Restitution, Fatherland or Death!" to his supporters, raising fears that Zelaya was attempting a violent confrontation. Michelletti initially denied that Zelaya had returned, but later admitted he had. Michelletti added that the return "changes nothing of our reality". Michelletti later issued a state of emergency with a curfew and asked the Brazilian government to put Zelaya in Honduran custody for trial. Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim stated that Brazil did not aid Zelaya's return. Security Vice-Minister Mario Perdomo ordered checkpoints on the highways leading to Tegucigalpa, to "stop those people coming to start trouble". Defense Minister Lionel Sevilla also suspended all air flights to Tegucigalpa.
    He was then brought to the air force base Hernan Acosta Mejia, and taken into exile in Costa Rica, precipitating the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis.
    More Details Hide Details The reason given for the arrest order were charges brought by the Attorney General. The rationale of the order was to enable a statement before the Supreme Court. The decision to expatriate Zelaya was however taken by the military themselves, knowing full well that expatriation violated the constitution. The military offered as justification that they exiled Zelaya "to avoid mob violence". c Following the coup, Zelaya spoke to the media from his forced exile in San José. He identified the events as a coup and a kidnapping. Soldiers pulled him from his bed, he said, and assaulted his guards. Zelaya announced that he would not recognize anyone named as his successor, and that he wanted to finish his term in office. He also stated that he would begin to meet with diplomats, and attended the Summit of Central American presidents held in Managua, Nicaragua, two days later (30 June 2009).
    On 28 June 2009, the country's Supreme Court issued an order to detain President Zelaya, who was subsequently captured by the military.
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    The Congress, the attorney general, and the top electoral tribunal declared Zelaya's proposed referendum illegal. Congress began to discuss impeaching Zelaya. On 27 June and again on 30 June 2009, thousands of protesters opposed to Zelaya's marched through the capital city.
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    In Honduras the military assist with election logistics; So in late May 2009, Zelaya requested military help to distribute ballot boxes and other materials for the poll.
    More Details Hide Details The chief of the military, General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, refused to carry this order out. In response, Zelaya dismissed Vásquez on 24 May. Subsequently, defense minister Edmundo Orellana and several other military commanders resigned in support of Vásquez. Both the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran Congress deemed the dismissal of Velásquez unlawful. By 25 June, the newspaper La Tribuna reported that the military had deployed hundreds of troops around Tegucigalpa, to prevent possible disturbances by organisations that support Zelaya and with the exception of leftist organizations, "all sectors are publicly opposed to the consultation, which has been declared illegal by the Prosecutor and the Supreme Court". The troops were deployed from the First Infantry Battalion, located 5 km East of the city, to the vicinity of the presidential residence in the West, and the airport, in the South.
    The Supreme Court's ruling was supported by Congress, the country's attorney general, top electoral body, and the country's human rights ombudsman, who all said that Zelaya violated the law. Despite the opposition of the other branches of the government, Zelaya moved forward with his plan to hold the poll on 28 June 2009.
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    President Zelaya came to international attention in June 2009 when he was overthrown in a military coup and forced into exile.
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    Elected as a liberal, Zelaya shifted to the political left during his presidency, forging an alliance with the ALBA. On 28 June 2009, during the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis, he was seized by the military and sent to Costa Rica and this was the cause of the 2009 Honduran coup d'état.
    More Details Hide Details On 21 September 2009 he returned to Honduras clandestinely and resurfaced in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. In 2010 he left Honduras for the Dominican Republic, an exile which lasted more than a year. He now represents Honduras as a deputy of the Central American Parliament. Since January 1976 Zelaya has been married to Xiomara Castro de Zelaya who was a presidential candidate in the Honduran general election, 2013, but lost to Juan Orlando Hernández. The surname 'Zelaya' is a word from the Basque language, meaning 'field'. Zelaya was born the eldest of four children in Juticalpa, Olancho. Two of his brothers remain alive. Zelaya's mother, Ortensia Rosales de Zelaya, has been described as his best campaigner. His family first lived in Copán, then they moved east to Catacamas, Olancho.
    In March 2009, Zelaya announced that he first wanted to have a preliminary poll – he suggested 28 June 2009 as a date – to ask voters whether they wanted the fourth ballot to be included in the November 2009 election.
    More Details Hide Details There has been considerable debate as to whether Zelaya's call for a poll about whether to organize a constituent assembly was legally valid according to the 1982 Constitution. Article 373 of the Constitution states that the Constitution can be amended by a two-thirds majority of the normal National Congress. Only eight articles cannot be amended in this fashion; they are specified in Article 374 of the Constitution and include term limits, system of government that is permitted, and process of presidential succession. Because the congress can amend 368 of 375 articles without any constituent assembly, some observers charged that Zelaya's true intention of holding a referendum on convening a constitutional convention on the same date as his successor's election was to extend his term of rule.
  • 2008
    Age 55
    On 11 November 2008, following requests from many Honduran groups for the convening of a constituent assembly, Zelaya issued a decree organizing a poll to decide whether the electorate wanted a fourth ballot box installed at polling places for the upcoming 29 November 2009 General Election – an addition to the usual three for Presidential, Congressional, and municipal candidates.
    More Details Hide Details The fourth ballot would ask voters whether to convening a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of writing a new constitution.
  • 2007
    Age 54
    Chimirri resigned in 2007, and was arrested following the coup.
    More Details Hide Details He remains in prison on charges of abuse of authority and embezzlement, charges he denies. Apart from Chimirri, Oscar Danilo Santos (the former manager of Hondutel), Jorge Rosa, and James Lagos are all charged in connection with allegedly committing crimes of abuse of authority, fraud and bribery having received bribes of $1.09 million U.S. from an international carrier in exchange for Hondutel providing that carrier lower rates than other firms. Auditor Julio Daniel Flores was charged for the lesser crime of violation of duties of officers.
    An unknown gunman in 2007 murdered a journalist who often criticized Zelaya.
    More Details Hide Details The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) and the United Nations criticized threats against journalists in Honduras. Other critical journalists, such as Dagoberto Rodriguez and Hector Geovanny Garcia, fled into exile because of constant murder threats. Manuel Zelaya appointed his nephew Marcelo Chimirri as General Manager of the state-owned telecom Hondutel. According to the Mexican newspaper El Universal, relying on information supplied by the Arcadia Foundation, Hondutel's revenue decreased 47% between 2005 and 2006, the first year of President Manuel Zelaya's administration, despite Hondutel's monopoly on international calls In April 2009, Latin Node Inc., an American company, pleaded guilty to making improper payments to Hondutel, "knowing that some, or all of those funds, would be passed on as bribes to officials of Hondutel".
    On 24 May 2007, Zelaya ordered ten two-hour cadenas (mandatory government broadcasts) on all television and radio stations, "to counteract the misinformation of the news media".
    More Details Hide Details The move, while legal, was fiercely criticized by the country's main journalists' union, and Zelaya was dubbed "authoritarian" by his opposition. Ultimately, the broadcasts were scaled back to a one-hour program on the government's plans to expand telephone service, a half-hour on new electrical power plants and a half-hour about government revenues. According to the University of New Mexico's electronic bulletin NotiCen, "Zelaya's contention that the media distort his efforts is not without merit". NotiCen cited reports which gave the public the impression that murder rates were rising, when they actually fell by 3% in 2006.
  • 2005
    Age 52
    In the 2005 presidential primaries, his faction was called Movimiento Esperanza Liberal (MEL).
    More Details Hide Details He received 52% of the 289,300 Liberal votes, vs. 17% for Jaime Rosenthal Oliva and 12% for Gabriela Núñez, the candidate of the Nueva Mayoría faction. During Zelaya's time in office Honduras became a member of ALBA, an international cooperation organization based on the idea of social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It marked his turning to a left-of-center politics, the first such case of right to left policy switch as he had been in elected in a conservative platform. Political opponents, particularly business elites, opposed his foreign policy, including his alliance with Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, and friendship with Cuba's Raúl Castro. In spite of a number of economic problems, there were a number of significant achievements under Zelaya's presidency. Under his government, free education for all children was introduced, subsidies to small farmers were provided, bank interest rates were reduced, the minimum wage was increased by 80%, school meals were guaranteed for more than 1.6 million children from poor families, domestic employees were integrated into the social security system, poverty was reduced by almost 10% during two years of government, and direct state help was provided for 200,000 families in extreme poverty, with free electricity supplied to those Hondurans most in need.
  • 1985
    Age 32
    He was a deputy in the National Congress for three consecutive times between 1985 and 1998.
    More Details Hide Details He held many positions within the PLH and was Minister for Investment in charge of the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS) in a previous PLH government. Under the administration of Zelaya the FHIS lost $40 million. Zelaya was accused of embezzlement but escaped prosecution.
  • 1982
    Age 29
    The crisis that led to his removal from office centered around the question of whether changes would be made to the 1982 Honduran Constitution.
    More Details Hide Details Zelaya proposed a national poll to gauge interest in constitutional change, which provoked a fierce reaction from opposition parties. Those responsible for the coup justified their actions on the grounds that Zelaya's interest in potentially convening a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution was illegal, and alleged that his real motive was to increase his time in office.
  • 1976
    Age 23
    He attended Niño Jesús de Praga y Luis Landa elementary school and the Instituto Salesiano San Miguel. He began hisuniversity studies in civil engineering, but left in 1976 with 11 courses completed, for agriculture and the forestry sector.
    More Details Hide Details He was forced to take over the family business because of the arrest of his father José Manuel Zelaya Ordoñez, implicated in the murders known as "Slaughter of the Horcones." These murders also involved Mayor José Enrique Chinchilla, Sub-Lieutenant Benjamín Plata, José Manuel Zelaya Ordoñez (property owner) and Carlos Bhar. They were charged and taken to the Central Prison; after four years in prison, they were favored with a pardon from the head of state, General Policarpo Paz García, in 1979. He has engaged in business activities that including timber and cattle, handed down to him by his late father. He is now a landowner in Olancho. In 1987, Zelaya became manager of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP), as well as of the National Association of Wood Processing Enterprises. The COHEP occupies a particularly important role in Honduran politics, as the Constitution delineates that the organization elects one of the seven members of the Nominating Board that proposes nominees to the Supreme Court of Honduras.
  • 1952
    Born on September 20, 1952.
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