Honduran leader claims conspiracy to repeat coup
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Honduras' president on Friday accused a group led by a powerful publishing magnate of plotting to repeat "the crisis of 2009," when his predecessor, Manuel Zelaya, was whisked out of the country at gunpoint in a civilian coup.
President Porfirio Lobo, speaking at a military event, did not use the word coup, but referred several times to the June 2009 incident that caused a political and economic crisis in this Central American country that in many ways has still not been resolved.
Both drug trafficking and killing have risen since then in Honduras, where two-thirds of the 8.2 million people live in poverty. With a homicide rate of 91 per 100,000 residents, it is often called the most violent country in the world.
Lobo said he knows who is meeting and how, though he did not say why they were conspiring or whether they were planning to overthrow his government. Lobo has accused groups in the past of plotting against him without providing details.
"What they're doing is a danger to the country," he said. "These citizens have not learned. We had a crisis in 2009 and they want to repeat it in 2012."
Gen. Rene Osorio, chief of the armed forces, appeared with Lobo, saying he supports the president. He said he has provided Lobo with intelligence reports but said they are confidential.
"In the armed forces, no one is thinking about a coup d'etat," Osorio said. "We will continue to inform the president with investigation and intelligence to give him our support."
In 2009, the populist-leaning Zelaya was seized at gunpoint by soldiers and flown out of the country in a coup that had wide support among the political elites, including members of Zelaya's own political party.
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