Honduras Plunges Into Crisis
Leftist prez clashes with army over referendum on term limits
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2009 4:36 AM CDT
Soldiers line up at the entrance to the Armed Forces Headquarters of Honduras in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)
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(Newser) – An escalating political crisis in Honduras is threatening to turn violent, the Wall Street Journal reports. President Manuel Zelaya fired the nation's army chief after he refused to allow the military to distribute ballots for a referendum on changing the constitution to let the leftist leader serve a second term. Hundreds of troops have been deployed around the presidential palace and other sites in the capital, but it is unclear whose orders they are following.

Zelaya has refused to comply with a Supreme Court order to reinstate the army chief, and ignored the court's ruling that the planned referendum is illegal. Yesterday, he marched with supporters to a military base and seized boxes of ballots. "If an army rebels against a president, then we are back to the era of the cavemen, back to the darkest chapters in Honduran history," he said.