Honduran Prez Recounts 'Brutal Kidnapping' in Coup

'Coup' triggered by Zelaya's insistence on unwanted constitutional referendum
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2009 1:17 PM CDT
Supporters of Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya demonstrate in front of the presidential residency in Tegucigalpa Sunday June 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
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(Newser) – Manuel Zelaya called upon the international community to “defend democracy” after the army forced him to leave Honduras in what the president called a “brutal kidnapping,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Zelaya said he awoke today facing the gun barrels of masked army officers who took him—still in his pajamas—to a plane that flew him to San Jose, Costa Rica. Who was running the Honduran government was not clear.

Zelaya was detained shortly before voting was to begin on a constitutional referendum the president had insisted on holding, even though the Supreme Court ruled it illegal and everyone from the military to Congress and members of his own party opposed it. "We're talking about a coup d'etat," labor leader and Zelaya ally Rafael Alegria told Honduran radio. "This is regrettable."