Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Tuesday praised the ongoing peaceful resistance in his country to the government that forced him from office.
At a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Zelaya called the resistance "unheard-of" and thanked the Mexican leader for his support.
"I don't believe in Talion's law of an eye for an eye. I take a pacifist position," said the deposed Honduran leader.
Speaking on the steps of Mexico's presidential palace, Los Pinos, Zelaya said that his camp in Ocotal, a town on the Nicaraguan border with Honduras, was a symbol of peaceful resistance, adding that that his followers did not respond to violence from Honduras' post-coup government with violence, but responded with peaceful means.
He also noted that his movement was based on article three of Honduras' Constitution, which stipulates that "no one should obey a government that takes office by force of arms." "Insurgency is a right enshrined in the Constitution and I am calling for a peaceful insurgency," he stressed.
He said that the coup in Honduras could reopen a dark chapter in Latin American history, because right-wing forces also exist in Honduras' neighbor Nicaragua and are ready to back coups in order to bring social progress to a halt.
"If right-wingers bring forth violence, violence will be reborn in social groups -- those that said 20 years ago that they would put down their guns," he said, citing Nicaragua's Sandinstas and the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front in El Salvador, former guerrillas who are now ruling parties in their respective nations.
He said that the people chose their president in both Mexico and Honduras, and that change only takes place when the president has died or disappeared, and that the June 28 coup was not a case of either of these.
He added that he would use all the peaceful means possible to halt the suffering of the people of Honduras, currently being repressed by the government of Roberto Micheletti, who took office after the coup.
He also called for solidarity from the media and from other nations in denouncing the post-coup government.
Meanwhile, Calderon expressed Mexico's support for Zelaya.
"We receive Zelaya with open arms as we have always done and as we will always do with our brother Honduras," he said. "From the day of the dastardly coup, we have shown solidarity with Honduras and supported the reinstatement of Zelaya as the country's president."
Calderon told reporters that he and Zelaya had talked about Mexico's commitment to a negotiated solution to the conflict in Honduras, and the "peaceful restoration of the democratic government" there.
"Zelaya and the members of his government will always have doors open to them in our nation," Calderon said. "In Mexico, we are convinced that democracy is the only road for people to progress. Now and forever we reject any attempt to return to the authoritarian past which has done so much damage to our nations."
He added that Mexico, now holding the Group of Rio's rotating presidency, backed the seven-point plan proposed by Oscar Arias, president of Costa Rica who tried to mediate between Zelaya and Micheletti.
"Many women and men have fought to make Latin America a community of free men and women, without the shadow of oppression and authoritarianism," Calderon said. "Now more than ever we have to work tirelessly to make sure their legacy endures."
Zelaya, who was forced into exile after the coup, arrived in Mexico City late Monday.
(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2009)