Toque de Queda

The day before yesterday, Monday September 21, 2009, President Mel Zelaya returned to Honduras overland, by stealth, and ensconced himself in the Brazilian Embassy.  At first denying that Zelaya was in the country, the de facto government that deposed him subsequently imposed a 24-hour toque de queda (curfew) on the country that remains in effect today, demanding that Brazil hand Zelaya over for arrest by Honduran authorities.  The airports are closed, buses aren’t running, all the country’s teachers (Zelaya supporters) are on strike, hospitals are not open for business, and most commercial establishments are shut.  The country is at a stop.  The de facto government has erected roadblocks around the country to prevent Zelaya’s supporters from converging on the capital.  The Brazilian Embassy is surrounded by armed troops who are dispersing the gathering crowds with tear gas and water cannon.  Demonstrators are being beaten and arrested.  The embassy’s water, phone service and electricity have been cut off.  All food and medical services have been blockaded.  Here in La Paz the situation is quiet but the country is paralyzed by the political turmoil.  Our three supermarkets are closed as well as most businesses and no buses or taxis are operating.  The situation is volatile.

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