TEGUCIGALPA — Supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya mobilized Monday to prepare new protests calling for his return to power more than a month after the military threw him out of the country.
Foreign envoys meanwhile were set to meet Monday with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel peace laureate spearheading an effort to negotiate a deal between Zelaya and the interim government led by Roberto Micheletti.
Zelaya supporters said they would begin a five-day march on the country's two main cities starting Wednesday despite a crackdown threat from the de facto government and the death of a teacher who was shot at a protest last week.
"There will be two marches with people from all over the country. One will go to San Pedro Sula and another to Tegucigalpa," Juan Barahona, of the National Resistance Against the Honduran Coup, told AFP.
Arias was to discuss Honduras with Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza and Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega.
Enrique Iglesias, a top official with the Organization of Ibero-American States, was also expected to attend the meeting.
For his part, Zelaya, who spent much of last week on the Nicaraguan side of the border with Honduras, was in Managua preparing for a trip to Mexico for a meeting Tuesday with President Felipe Calderon.
Zelaya was bundled out of his bed at gunpoint and kicked out of the country in the June 28 coup, which has been condemned by the international community.
The Mexican president in turn will meet US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at an August 9-10 summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, with the simmering Honduran crisis likely to be a hot issue.
Washington has said that Zelaya is the country's only president, and US ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens flew to Nicaragua and traveled to the border to meet the deposed president on July 29.
Micheletti expressed his displeasure in a Saturday interview with local HRN news.
"We are extremely surprised with the attitude taken by the (US) ambassador, and we call on him for a correction; he cannot be interfering in issues that are strictly of Honduras," Micheletti said.
"There is no country or people powerful enough in the world to bend us," he added.
Washington has canceled diplomatic visas for four members of the interim government, and Micheletti has threatened to retaliate by canceling the visas of US diplomats.
In Tegucigalpa, hundreds of Zelaya supporters -- including the president's wife Xiomara Castro -- gathered Sunday for a wake for Roger Abraham Vallejo, a 38-year-old high school teacher who was shot during a mid-week demonstration.
Another teacher, Martin Florencio Rivera, was stabbed to death after leaving the wake, which Zelaya supporters blamed on regime supporters.
"He was killed after being stabbed 27 times when he was leaving Vallejo's wake," Eulogio Chavez, a teachers organization leader, told AFP.
"That is the same way they killed the comrade in El Paraiso," he said, referring to a Zelaya supporter beaten and stabbed to death who was found near the border with Nicaragua on July 25.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »