|09TEGUCIGALPA595||2009-07-15 13:32:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Tegucigalpa|
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TEGUCIGALPA 000595
1. (U) At approximately 9:21 local (11:21 EDT)
approximately 700 Zelaya supporters gathered at the
National Pedagogical University. By 10:14 local (12:14
EDT), Zelaya supporters began marching and grew to
approximately 4000. At 11:41, Zelaya supporters arrived at
the Embassy. The demonstrators yelled for the U.S. to
support the "immediate restitution of Manuel Zelaya" and
demanded "compliance with the recommendation of the
OAS that Mel Zelaya return." One speaker, a representative
of feminist groups, thanked President Obama, Secretary
and the Ambassador for their support of the deposed President.
Other speakers were less positive, wondering at the
"silence" and describing the Arias talks as "a failure." One
protester held a sign saying the U.S. was behind the coup.
approximately 12:45 local (14:45 EDT), another separate
group including First Lady Zelaya and approximately 600
more Zelaya supporters, marched to the Embassy and joined
the larger group and peacefully dispersed at 13:35 local
(15:35 EDT). The First Lady (who had spoken to supporters
at a different location earlier demanding Zelaya be allowed
to return to confront those accusing him of misdeeds)
did not address the group at the Embassy and
was not present when the earlier negative comments were
made before the group.
2. (U) A reliable source reported that today, July 14, a
pro-Zelaya protest closed a section of the CA-5 highway
between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula near Comayagua
starting at approximately 10:45 local (12:45 EDT). The
demonstration dispersing peacefully at approximately 14:00
local (16:00 EDT).
3. (U) Post continues to receive reports that various
protestors, including the teachers unions still on strike,
met yesterday to plan their next move. Zelaya supporters
announced late yesterday that Friday July 17, they would
"take to the streets." Additionally, Honduran National
Police contacts said they heard rumors that on Wednesday
July 15, pro-Zelaya demonstrators plan to "take" factories
and fast food establishments in San Pedro Sula. There is
also a rumor that pro-Zelaya demonstrators plan to march
tomorrow, July 15, from the National Pedagogical University
to the national Liberal Party headquarters and "burn it,"
as a signal of their displeasure with the Liberal Party
faction that supports the Micheletti regime. Post is
attempting to confirm these rumors, but they are
consistent with reports from various sources within the
pro-Zelaya group that state they will move to "other
measures," given that peaceful demonstrations have not
4. (U) Reports indicate that parents of school-aged
children are considering a demonstration tomorrow, July 15,
to demand that public school teachers return to the
classroom. (Note: As of Tuesday, almost all primary
schools are back in session in defiance of the
primary-level teachers' union call for continued strikes,
but most secondary schools remain closed due to teacher
participation in pro-Zelaya demonstrations. End note.)
5. (U) Violent crime continues unabated in Honduras (Ref B)
as reports surfaced of the assassination-style killing of
five members of a family in San Pedro Sula early Monday
July 13. Unconfirmed reports indicate these killings could
TEGUCIGALP 00000595 002.2 OF 002
be linked to the July 11 killing of 5 prison escapees involved
in gang activity who broke out of a San Pedro Sula jail on
6. (U) The curfew remained lifted indefinitely throughout
Infrastructure and Communications
7. (U) Toncontin Airport remains open and has been
operating since Tuesday afternoon, July 7. Continental,
Delta, and American Airlines have all resumed normal
operations. San Pedro Sula airport remains open for
international flights, and American, Continental and Delta
Airlines continue to operate flights as usual to and from
that destination. All land borders are reportedly open to
both private and commercial traffic.
8. (U) As of Tuesday afternoon, there are no reports of
abnormal public utility outages in the country.
Consular and Embassy Operations
9. (U) The Embassy remains open for all regular consular
services today, July 14. Barring a change in the security
situation, the consular section plans to be open for
regular consular services until further notice.
10. (U) The Consular Section continues to receive sporadic
inquires from AmCits regarding the political situation.
Post issued an updated Warden Message on Monday with new
information about the lifting of the curfew. The Consular
Section continues to regularly update ACS information on
the Embassy website.
11. (SBU) JTF-Bravo continues to be on lock down. All
regular military-to-military contact has been suspended per
the no contact policy. With the daily permission of
the Ambassador, JTF-Bravo has resumed
training flights on a case-by-case basis. The purpose of
flights is only to maintain the minimal training
requirements for the flight crews and requires no/no
contact with Honduran military counterparts.
12. (SBU) The next EAC will take place Wednesday July 15,
at 1400 local time (1600 EDT).