Ousted Honduran Leader at Border as Congress Mulls Plan
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya vowed to stay all week in Nicaragua just steps away from Honduras, as Congress was set Monday to debate a mediator's proposal to break a monthlong political deadlock.
The San Jose Accord, proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, calls for Zelaya to be restored to power, but with various limits.
The interim leaders who took control after the army expelled Zelaya on June 28 have welcomed some parts of the plan but rejected his return as president.
Zelaya late Sunday ruled out further negotiations and said he would neither travel to Washington nor to a regional summit in Costa Rica this week.
"There are no negotiations with the coup leaders," Zelaya said, adding that he sought to organize a "civic front of resistance against the coup" in the northern Nicaraguan border town of Ocotal.
Tension remained high on the border between the two Central American nations, with some 3,000 Honduran soldiers and police deployed in the area with orders to arrest Zelaya on charges of treason if he enters the country.
"I can't leave people here who are coming from Honduras," Zelaya said, as groups of Hondurans traveled mountainous terrain to avoid military roadblocks leading to the border with Nicaragua.
The interim government extended a curfew in the border zone as Congress -- dominated by supporters of leader Roberto Micheletti -- prepared to discuss the Arias proposal in the capital Tegucigalpa.
The military has supported the San Jose talks but said it would not accept a return of Zelaya.
The cowboy-hatted exiled president, who briefly stepped onto Honduran territory Friday, has said the talks have failed.
Zelaya, a former rancher who veered to the left after taking office, was ousted amid fears he sought to extend his rule beyond presidential term limits through a referendum on the Constitution.