Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The plane which transported kidnapped Mel Zalaya did land in Palmerola.

Managua (AFP 3 September). The head of the United States' Southern Command, General Douglas Fraser, admitted yesterday, Wednesday, that the military base of Palmerola (north of Tegucigalpa) was used in the 28 June coup d'etat against the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, but gave his assurance that U.S. personnel did not participate in this.

Fraser, during a meeting with the Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, at his government office said "It's certain that the airplane landed at Palmerola, but it's a Honduran base not a U.S. one - there are personnel from the U.S. but they did not participate nor did they have any knowledge of the landing and subsequent take-off of the aeroplane". Fraser said to Ortega that the transportation to the airbase and from there to Costa Rica was organised by the Hondoran army.

Zulaya was taken from his residence during the early morning of 28 June and from there was flown to an airport in Costa Rica.

The U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, the same day suspended all assistance and communication with the Honduran 'authorities' emerging from the coup, reported Fraser, after expressing his desire that a peaceful solution be reached to the crisis. The Palmerola military base was built by the United States in the 1980's, when the Central American region was immersed in armed conflicts, and its installations have recently been ceded to the Honduran authorities.

Translated extract from El Tiempo, Honduras 3 September 2009