TEGUCIGALPA – The father of a 19-year-old man killed during a march in favor of ousted President Mel Zelaya was arrested in connection with a 2004 case, Honduran authorities said Friday.
Jose Murillo, a Protestant pastor, was detained Thursday in Tegucigalpa and is waiting for a court in the eastern province of Olancho to rule on whether he can be released on bail.
A police spokesman told Efe that Murillo was picked up on an arrest warrant issued in 2007 by the Olancho court, which said the defendant violated the terms of his 2004 release pending trial on a charge of attempted murder.
Police did not provide any details about the attempted-homicide case.
Within hours of his arrest in the capital, Murillo was taken back to Juticalpa, Olancho, from where his daughter told Efe by telephone that the family was trying to find an attorney for her father.
Police discovered the pending warrant for Jose Murillo while investigating the death of his son, the spokesman said.
Isy Obed Murillo, 19, died last Sunday from a gunshot wound to the head after police and troops resorted to tear gas and live ammunition to repel tens of thousands of Zelaya partisans who had gathered at Tegucicalpa’s international airport to welcome back the ousted president.
Zelaya’s plane was unable to land because the military blocked the runway.
Soldiers burst into the presidential palace before dawn on June 28, seizing Zelaya in his pajamas and putting him on a plane to Costa Rica.
Lawmakers justify Zelaya’s removal on the grounds that he threatened the constitutional order by trying to hold a non-binding referendum on his call for an assembly to overhaul a charter that, among other things, allows the military to name its own commanders with only nominal input from elected officials.
Zelaya’s foes say he wants to change the charter so he can run for re-election, a charge he flatly denied during a press conference last week at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Noting that the current Honduran constitution limits the president to a single four-year term, Zelaya, whose mandate ends in January, said a revised charter would apply only to subsequent presidents.
Representatives of Zelaya and the de facto regime headed by Roberto Micheletti are currently meeting in Costa Rica to find a solution to the impasse. EFE