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Zelaya supporter found dead near Nicaragua border

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-26

A 23 year-old Honduran man was found dead on a road leading to the border with Nicaragua, a day after he was arrested after demonstrating in favour of ousted Nicaraguan president Manuel Zelaya (photo) at the border town of El Paraiso.

AFP - A Honduran man was found dead Saturday on a road leading to the border with Nicaragua, one day after ousted President Manuel Zelaya stepped back into Honduras in a symbolic act of defiance.

Zelaya supporters, who gathered at the border Saturday in hopes that the president would once again return to try and reenter his homeland, blamed Honduran police for the death.

The man, identified by friends as 23 year-old Pedro Madriel Munoz Alvarado, had knife wounds and signs he had been beaten. The body was found on the ground next to a coffee field, an AFP journalist reported.

Radio Globo reported that witnesses on Friday saw police arresting the man after he participated in pro-Zelaya demonstrations in El Paraiso, some 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the border with Nicaragua.

Zelaya supporters were preventing police and authorities from reaching the body.

According to Globo, one of the few media outlets critical of the military-supported Honduran interim regime, Munoz "was found with signs of torture, that he had been executed."

One of the protestors told AFP that Munoz lived in Colonia San Francisco, a working-class neighborhood of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.

A police officer told protesters and reporters in El Paraiso that the man had been arrested on Friday for smoking marijuana, and not for political reasons.

"No, it wasn't the police" that was responsible for his death, a police inspector who refused to identify himself said.

"He was released. We are waiting for the forensic expert to arrive to clear this up," the officer said.

Date created : 2009-07-25