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  HOME | Central America

Shots Fired at Catholic Seminary in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA – No one was hurt in a drive-by shooting at Honduras’s largest Catholic seminary amid the ongoing standoff between deposed President Mel Zelaya and the de facto regime headed by Roberto Micheletti, police said.

Spokesman Orlin Cerrato told Efe the bullets hit the wall at the main gate of the Our Lady of Suyapa Seminary, located on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa.

The attack occurred around 11:00 a.m. Sunday, he said.

“We only know that the shots were fired from a moving vehicle,” he said, adding that authorities had no information on the identity of the assailants or a motive for the assault.

Last Friday, the Honduran Catholic hierarchy called for a “just, peaceful and agreed solution” to the crisis ignited by the June 28 ouster of Zelaya, warning that “any kind of violence” would damage the dialogue initiated last week under the auspices of the Organization of American States.

The Suyapa seminary hosted a July 3 meeting between the country’s Catholic primate, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez, and OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza, that took place in the context of efforts to secure Zelaya’s reinstatement.

Delegations representing Micheletti and Zelaya said last Friday at the end of their first three days of dialogue that they have managed to reach agreement on a majority of the issues on the table, including the goal of creating a national-unity government.

In separate statements, the delegations told reporters they made progress on 60 percent of the points in the San Jose Accord, the plan laid out by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to resolve the crisis.

Arias’ proposal calls for Zelaya to return to office, a “guarantee” that he won’t press for an assembly to rewrite the Honduran constitution, formation of a national unity government, a political amnesty for Zelaya and the coup leaders and mechanisms for international supervision to ensure the pact is honored.

Delegates for the ousted president said they would not compromise on their key demand: the reinstatement of Zelaya, who made a surprise return to the country on Sept. 21 and is currently holed up at the Brazilian Embassy with dozens of supporters.

While Zelaya has accepted the terms of the San Jose Accord, Micheletti remains opposed to the reinstatement of the elected president, whose term ends in January.

Micheletti contends Zelaya’s ouster was not a coup, insisting that the soldiers who dragged him from the presidential palace 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.

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

Yet, even as talks are set to continue, the Micheletti regime announced new media regulations that will effectively allow it to keep anti-coup news outlets off the air. EFE

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