TEGUCIGALPA – Two activists of Honduras’ leftist UD party were slain over the weekend in separate incidents, a party official told Efe.
The victims were Roger Bados, 54, and Ramon Garcia, 40. The motives for the killings are still unknown, Renan Valdes said.
He added that Bados, who was a local UD chairman and a member of the Popular Bloc, a coalition of some 30 workers’ organizations, was murdered Saturday night in Rivera Hernandez near San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second-biggest city.
As for Garcia, he said that “he was taken off a bus by unknown persons” around 4:00 p.m. Saturday in the Callejones sector of the western province of Santa Barbara.
In the case of Bados, Valdes said, one of his sisters and the wife of a nephew were also wounded.
Citing witness accounts, Valdes said a man came to Bados’ house “asking for a nephew of his” and “when he answered that he would go to find him, the assailant shot him three times in the back.”
The killer got away on a bicycle, Valdes said, adding that the UD is investigating the two crimes to find out whether these were acts of common violence or were political in nature, stemming from the crisis Honduras is going through since President Mel Zelaya was ousted by the military on June 28.
As for Ramon Garcia, Valdes said that he had been taking part in demonstrations in the western part of the country calling for Zelaya’s return to power, which since the coup has been exercised by Congress speaker Roberto Micheletti.
Zelaya was deposed by the military and sent to Costa Rica, where he began drumming up international support for his return to power.
The elected head of state tried to return home on July 5, but his plane was prevented from landing at Tegucigalpa’s Toncontin International Airport, where troops opened fire on tens of thousands of Zelaya supporters, killing at least one person.
The United States government has frozen aid to Honduras, the third-poorest nation in the hemisphere, while the Organization of American States suspended Honduras in response to the events of June 28.
Honduran lawmakers justify Zelaya’s removal by claiming that he threatened the constitutional order by trying to hold a non-binding referendum on his call for an assembly to overhaul a constitution 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 has flatly denied.
Noting that the current Honduran constitution limits the president to a single four-year term, Zelaya said a revised charter would apply only to his successors. EFE