By Alberto Cabezas
MEXICO CITY – Deposed Honduran President Mel Zelaya got support on Tuesday from Mexican head of state Felipe Calderon in his bid for reinstatement.
Calderon spoke out in favor of the plan proposed by Costa Rica President Oscar Arias, which mandates that Zelaya be restored to office and allowed to serve out his term, set to end in January.
Zelaya, despite having deemed Arias’ mediation efforts a failure, told reporters at Calderon’s official residence that would accept the Costa Rican’s proposals.
He stressed that his reinstatement was an indispensable condition “for peace in Honduras.”
Besides saying he was in favor of the points in the Arias Plan relative to the forming of “a government of national unity made up of different sectors of the country” and to the application of a political amnesty, he demanded that Hondurans be present in “all the processes of transformation.”
He recalled that the people of Honduras “have the right of insurrection to restore the democratic order,” but said that it should not explode into violence.
In that regard he defended his decision to establish himself in the Nicaraguan city of Ocotal on the Honduran border, a gesture that “was just a symbol to show coherence in the approach” he has adopted.
“Being near the Honduran border, whether or not they talk of it meaning war, which is false, has been an essential part of getting back to the people so I could have closer ties with my family and be a little more united with my land,” he said.
Zelaya constantly said he would not resort to violence, instead insisting that he will continue with his “peaceful resistance,” his diplomatic offensive to return to power and fighting for direct democracy while he has “any life left.”
Honduran security forces have killed at least four Zelaya supporters since soldiers dragged the elected head of state from the presidential palace on June 28 and put him on a plane to Costa Rica.
People who support Zelaya – or simply oppose the ouster of an elected president – have mounted demonstrations in Honduras every day since the coup.
The de facto regime headed by erstwhile Congress speaker Roberto Micheletti had largely tolerated the protests until last Thursday, when officials ordered troops and police to clear roadblocks.
In his remarks at a joint press conference with Zelaya, Calderon called on Micheletti to accept the Arias Plan and committed himself to firmly support that process.
“Now and always we strongly reject any attempt to return to the authoritarian past that so much harm has done to our nations,” the Mexican president said.
Zelaya’s ouster came just hours before Honduran voters were supposed to cast ballots in a 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 constitutional change to allow presidential re-election would not take place until well after the incumbent stepped down.
Under the Arias Plan, Zelaya would have to abandon his hopes for a constitutional convention. EFE