This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Honduras de facto leader`s nephew murdered

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 14:46

Tegucigalpa: A nephew of Roberto Micheletti, head of the de facto regime running Honduras since a June 28 military coup, and a high-ranking army
officer were murdered in separate incidents, the National Police said.

Enzo Micheletti had disappeared several days ago and his body was found Sunday along with that of another young man in the northern town of Choloma, while Col. Concepcion Jimenez was gunned down Sunday night in front of his Tegucigalpa house, National Police spokesman Orlin Cerrato told EFE.

Police are dealing with both cases "as a matter of common violence", Cerrato said, adding that "the investigations are covering all the necessary aspects".

The killings occurred as the country continues to grapple with the political crisis unleashed by the ouster of elected President Mel Zelaya.

Preliminary information indicates that Enzo Micheletti, who had been missing since Friday but whose disappearance had not been reported in the press, was gunned down along with the person found with him, Cerrato said.

The 24-year-old Enzo was the son of Roberto Micheletti`s late brother Antonio, Honduran media reported.

Col. Jimenez died Sunday night at Tegucigalpa`s Military Hospital shortly after being shot while getting out of his car in front of his house in a southern district of the capital.

The suspects in the killing are "three or four young men who were in a taxi", Cerrato said.

Jimenez headed the Honduran armed forces` Industria Militar, which makes uniforms and other equipment for the military.

Talks between representatives of Zelaya and the coup regime broke down over the weekend, thanks largely to Micheletti`s unwillingness to accept the reinstatement of the legitimate head of state.

Micheletti contends Zelaya`s ouster was not a coup, insisting that the soldiers who dragged him from the presidential palace and put him on a plane to Costa Rica were simply enforcing a Supreme Court ban on the president`s planned non-binding plebiscite on the idea of revising the constitution.

Though the coup leaders accuse Zelaya of seeking to extend his stay in office, any potential constitutional change to allow presidential re-election would not have taken place until well after the incumbent stepped down.

Zelaya, who slipped back into the country September 21 and remains holed up at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, has made numerous concessions to achieve an accord with Micheletti.

The ousted president agreed to preside over a national-unity government for the balance of his term, which ends in January.

He also pledged to abandon the push for constitutional reform that provoked the ire of the military, the political establishment and the few dozen families who dominate the Honduran economy.

Time is running out to settle the conflict before the November 29 presidential elections, as both the European Union and Washington have said they will not recognize the winner unless Zelaya is restored to office beforehand.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 14:46
comments powered by Disqus