IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Embassy occupants in Honduras: Cut the music

Occupants of the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras, where ousted President Manuel Zelaya is holed up with his supporters, are complaining about loud music blasted by soldiers.
Honduras Coup
Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya, left, reads the Organization of the American State, OAS, Inter-American Democratic letter, while sitting next to his representative Mayra Mejia inside Brazil's embassy in Tegucigalpa, Wednesday. Esteban Felix / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Occupants of the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras, where ousted President Manuel Zelaya is holed up with his supporters, complained Wednesday about loud music blasted by soldiers posted around the diplomatic compound.

Army chief of staff Gen. Romeo Vazquez denied claims of harassment, saying the all-night broadcast was a "serenade" intended to celebrate the country's Armed Forces day holiday.

The playlist of tunes that stretched from after midnight into Wednesday morning included the song "Two-legged Rat," an ode to an ex-boyfriend made famous by Mexican songstress Paquita La del Barrio. Its lyrics begin, "Filthy rat, crawling animal, scum of all life ..." and get worse from there.

A statement by the Organization of American States expressed concern about "increased harassment" of the embassy, especially at night.

Zelaya has been holed up in the diplomatic compound since he sneaked back into Honduras in late September, after being ousted in a June 28 coup. He has demanded he be reinstated to serve out his term, while the interim government has refused to do so.

Journalists from several media outlets including The Associated Press are inside the embassy.

Soldiers have cordoned off several blocks around the compound and allow only certain kinds of previously inspected food inside. They also have taken to shining bright lights into the building at night, and occupants say soldiers make loud animal noises as well.

The government has also dismissed Zelaya's claims that the embassy has been bombarded with "toxic gas" and "electromagnetic radiation" to harass him.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Leone Sevilla said the armed forces oppose restoring Zelaya, claiming that would "violate the constitution."

Soldiers flew Zelaya into exile after he ignored a Supreme Court order to cancel a referendum to ask Hondurans if they wanted an assembly to rewrite the constitution.

In 1989, when U.S. troops invaded Panama, then-president Manuel Noriega took refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Panama City. U.S. soldiers blasted the building with loud rock music until the Vatican complained, and Noriega finally surrendered.