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Cable 898: Intial US Embassy Report on 2009 Military Coup in Honduras

Cable 898: Intial US Embassy Report on 2009 Military Coup in Honduras

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Published by Andres
This is a 2009 US embassy report providing initial information about the military coup d'etat that ousted Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya.
This is a 2009 US embassy report providing initial information about the military coup d'etat that ousted Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya.

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Published by: Andres on Mar 04, 2012
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04/12/2014

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O 281458Z JUN 09FM AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9965C O N F I D E N T I A L TEGUCIGALPA 000504SUBJECT: HONDURAN MILITARY ARRESTS PRESIDENT ZELAYA 
Classified By: amb. Hugo Llorens, e.o. 12958 1.4(b)and (d)¶1. (C) At approximately 02:30 local time (04:30Washington) Honduran military forces entered thePresidential Palace and arrested President Manuel"Mel" Zelaya. Embassy sources report Zelaya wastaken to the Air Force Base adjacent to ToncontinInternational Aiport and then flown by militaryaircraft to Costa Rica, where he was said to be asof 07:30.It has been reported that Zelaya hassigned a letter of resignation.¶2. (C) Military commanders told DATT they hadacted on instructions from the National Congressand the Supreme Court to prevent Zelaya fromcarrying out a poll, scheduled to take place today,on whether there should be a "fourth urn"at theNovember general elections to seek voter approvalto convene a constituent assembly to rewrite theconstitution. The courts, the attorney general andthe solicitor general had all declared the pollillegal.
 
3. (C) Both the Attorney General and theindividual members of the Congress we spoke to saythey had only ordered the confiscation of thepolling materials and had not asked for Zelaya,sarrest. Juan Orlando Gutierrez added, however, thatZelaya could be arrested for having committedseveral "flagrant" acts up to 24 hours after theact. When asked if the National Police (HNP) werein solidarity with the military forces, Minister ofSecurity Jorge Rodas told Emboff the HNP "are insupport of the Constitution and rule of law."4. (C) As of 09:00 streets are calm inTegucigalpa, although there is an unusually largepolice presence. The military is confiscating pollmaterials throughout the country, according to thedirector of police. Television and radiobroadcasts have been suspended, and there aresporadic power outages. Television stations hadreported the arrest before going off the air. Thegovernment-controled Channel 8 urged Zelayasupporters to congregate in the Central Park and infront of the Presidential Palace to oppose themilitary's action.¶5. (C) Post held an EAC. There are no/no reportsof violence. Post is preparing a warden message toAmerican Citizens and instructing all Embassypersonnel to remain at home. We are contactingairlines to determine status of departing andincoming international flights.¶6. (C) Ambassador spoke to President of Congress

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