Talk about a wake-up call: Early Sunday, soldiers in Honduras marched into the home of president Jose Manuel Zelaya, arresting and exiling him to Costa Rica, marking the first successful military coup in Central America in over 16 years. Congress appointed Roberto Micheletti to serve the rest of Zelaya’s term, which ends in January. The coup took action after Zelaya disregarded the Supreme Court’s ruling and Congress’ vote against holding a referendum he was pushing that would allegedly extend his rule.
For many, this signifies both a disruption in democracy and hope, as sad memories resurface of military dictatorships that once dominated Central America. In Nicaragua Zelaya met with nine leftist nations who agreed to remove their ambassadors from Honduras until Zelaya’s return, and will reject all new diplomats from the replaced government. Government leaders all over North, Central and South America are reacting to the coup, with most siding with Zelaya.
Thousands of protestors surrounding the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa were met with tear gas and shields. Armed forces set up roadblocks to the capital city and the coup has temporarily shut down all media outlets. However, most of the city experienced a typical — albeit cautious and tense — Monday, with most businesses open and operating.
James Goller from Viaventure reported to VIVA Travel Guides that tours and tourist services have remained unaffected, but will notify us of any updates.
Rachel Anderson is a staff writer/editor for VIVA Travel Guides.