Zelaya Signs Agreement Allowing His Return To Honduras
May 23, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Overthrown Honduran President Manuel Zelaya signed an agreement on Sunday with current President Porfirio Lobo in the Colombian city of Cartagena that will allow Zelaya to return to the country.
“Zelaya will be given the security and treatment of a former president because he deserves our respect and consideration,” Lobo told the press on Saturday.
The deal also requires respect for human rights, mandates investigations into allegations of human rights abuse, and specifies that Zelaya’s supporters be allowed to participate in political life and in the elections of 2014.
The agreement will facilitate Honduras’ return to the Organization of American States, since some countries continue to oppose Honduras’ reentry until Zelaya returns. OAS General Secretary José Miguel Insulza said in a press release he had received the agreement and would submit it today to the Permanent Council. The Permanent Council, in turn, will set a date today for a General Assembly meeting to discuss Honduras’ reentry to the regional body.
The deal paving the way for Zelaya’s return to Honduras marked a diplomatic victory for Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who brokered the deal during a meeting with Lobo and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez last month and attended Sunday’s signing ceremony in Cartagena.
Chávez showed his support for the deal in a tweet on Sunday: “I congratulate President Santos, his Foreign Minister Mariangela, our Foreign Minister Maduro and all those who made this agreement possible!”
“This is a truly democratic agreement,” Zelaya said, quoted by Colombian daily El Espectador.
Zelaya says he will return to Honduras on May 28.
The Honduran military overthrew Zelaya and sent him into exile in June 2009.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Lawmakers in Mexico’s Chihuahua state awarded the violence-plagued Ciudad Juárez Saturday the title of “Heroic” Ciudad Juarez to honor its role in the 1910 Mexican Revolution.
- Mexico plans to propose central bank chief Agustin Carstens as a candidate to head the International Monetary Fund.
- The Obama administration issued new rules that will give Americans wider access to travel to Cuba.
- The director of the National Hurricane Center said Friday that Haiti’s ability to respond to a tropical storm remains a top concern for the Atlantic hurricane season.
- At least two people died and 30 others were evacuated along Guatemala’s southern coast due to the torrential rains over the weekend.
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- A Venezuelan union leader said eight workers were hurt during a protest by employees at a state aluminum company.
- Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Saturday by claiming he displays dictatorial attitudes.
- Bolivia is attempting to woo private investors to develop the country’s vast natural gas reserves.
- Protesters opposing environmental, education and labor policies in Chile clashed with police in Valparaiso.
- Six people were detained Saturday in Brazil during a pro-marijuana rally in Sao Paulo, after about 1,000 people showed up in the city’s financial center.
- Thousands of people came out for the annual ‘March of Silence’ in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, to protest abuses by the country’s former military dictatorship.
Image: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador @ Flickr.