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Honduran coup regime attacks Brazil's embassy
September 25, 2009 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Honduran coup regime attacks Brazil's embassy with LRAD-X Remote Long Range Acoustic Device, violating the Geneva Convention. And, to violate it a little more, they've also used a mobile cell phone jamming device.
posted by shetterly (35 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It's like a military ghetto blaster.
posted by smackfu at 3:30 PM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, the article says it's a violation of the Vienna Convention, which quite different than the Geneva Conventions.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:30 PM on September 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


must have borrowed it from the p[olice in Philly

posted by Postroad at 3:31 PM on September 25, 2009


Anyone clear on what the Honduran grievance is? Other than just being nasty people "who hate our freedom" (or somebody's anyway)?
posted by philip-random at 3:36 PM on September 25, 2009


smackfu: "It's like a military ghetto blaster."

You know another tragic conflict involving ghetto blasters?
posted by Joe Beese at 3:37 PM on September 25, 2009


Seems like a somewhat sensationalist post to me, and inaccurate.
posted by snofoam at 3:38 PM on September 25, 2009


Danger Room has a decent writeup about the device in both Philly and Honduras. There is some dispute as to whether it is an LRAD-X or just a directed speaker in use in Hnduras.

I've been at the receiving end of a test of a device similar to LRAD-X, and I can tell you, it scrambles your thinking pretty badly, and is completely unbearable at any close distance. Dunno about how well it would penetrate walls, though.
posted by blixco at 3:38 PM on September 25, 2009


From the article, the president of Honduras whom the coup ousted is in the Brazilian embassy.
posted by meowzilla at 3:41 PM on September 25, 2009


must have borrowed it from the p[olice in Philly

Danger Room has a decent writeup about the device in both Philly and Honduras.


Pittsburgh != Philly.

Just, y'know, fyi.
posted by dersins at 3:45 PM on September 25, 2009


dersins: "Pittsburgh != Philly."

Handy mnemonic: Pittsburgh welcomes the world; Philadelphia doesn't.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:46 PM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, gosh, why would they do that? Thanks meowzilla

Also, shetterly, that site was the one that you posted that repeated false rumors, and then erased the post without addressing it later. I'd suggest you not link to them again.
posted by FuManchu at 3:49 PM on September 25, 2009


... as the only real link in an breaking-newsy FPP, I mean.
posted by FuManchu at 3:51 PM on September 25, 2009


All those P names are the same, aren't they? Pittsly, Philburg, Pittsyldelphia....Pottsylvania....Portugal...Pflugerville....
posted by blixco at 3:55 PM on September 25, 2009


Oh, balls. I am failing today. Here's the link to your comment with the rumor. The linked article was originally here, with the title "Honduran Military Assassinates Leftist Presidential Candidate." And they totally did address it later with Correction: Honduran Presidential Candidate Is Still Alive sometime after they deleted the original.
posted by FuManchu at 4:01 PM on September 25, 2009


enabling system operators to .. communicate with an intruder over long distances

ain't that an understatement.
posted by sswiller at 4:47 PM on September 25, 2009


Cool Papa Bell, thanks! From now on, I post *after* I realize I need a nap, not before.

philip-random, the answer depends on your politics. (Huh. That's more all-purpose than I realized when starting the sentence.) I should've put in a couple of previouslys:

http://www.metafilter.com/82860/Army-overthrows-Honduras-president

http://www.metafilter.com/85306/Zelaya-in-Tegus


Also my bad for posting in haste.
posted by shetterly at 5:02 PM on September 25, 2009


FuManchu, this issue first came up (for me) when the extremely untrustworthy Miami Herald ran an article mocking Zelaya: They're torturing me, Honduras' Manuel Zelaya claims: Honduras' fallen leader told The Miami Herald he is being subjected to mind-altering gas and radiation -- and that `Israeli mercenaries' are planning to assassinate him.

If you click, you'll notice there's nothing substantiating that. Maybe someone can find a source for it.

As for story corrections, just about everyone was correcting stories in the first day or so of the coup. What's important is that they correct them prominently. Al Giordano's got a decent track record, so far as I can tell.

blixco, thanks for the link to Wired!
posted by shetterly at 5:13 PM on September 25, 2009


sorry for having confused the two Pennsylvania towns, both of which I have been in and enjoyed, but as the guys says:


Here lies W. C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia.
W. C. Fields
posted by Postroad at 5:13 PM on September 25, 2009


The interesting question from my point of view is what will happen now? From my (completely ill-informed) perspective, there are five options:

- Coup leaders relinquish power back to Zelaya, let constitutional reform questions go to referendum.
- Coup leaders enter dialogue, eventual elections without relinquishing power back to Zelaya.
- Coup leaders attempt forceful removal of Zelaya - poison, assassination, military storm the embassy, proxy powers ("outraged citizens") storm the embassy.
- Continual stalemate. Coup leaders continue as they are, Zelaya stays holed up in the embassy.
- Outside force intervenes - e.g. UN comes to town in force.

The consequences of these range from peaceful to violent, but in all cases there's outside interference on some level - it seems to me unlikely that the coup leaders would cede any power not on their own terms unless some pressure had been exerted. Which then leads onto the broader question of how right is it for foreign countries/bodies to interpret Honduran law to say that the deposal of Zelaya was unconstitutional? Like Honduras saying that the decision by the Supreme Court to say Bush beat Gore was unconstitutional or something.
posted by djgh at 5:35 PM on September 25, 2009


Like Honduras saying that the decision by the Supreme Court to say Bush beat Gore was unconstitutional or something.

Or something. This is more like what would have happened if, after Bush had already been in power a while, some court decided that one or another of the Bush administration's crazy new laws was unconstitutional, and on that basis Al Gore took control of the military, took control of all the news media, declared martial law, and tried to have the former President arrested. You can imagine some Americans would not be pleased about it.

I think "unconstitutional" is fair.
posted by sfenders at 7:25 PM on September 25, 2009


Do we know how serious Brazil is about protecting their embassy? If they are, it would be profoundly stupid for the coup leaders to attempt to get to Zelaya when he's inside the embassy.
posted by oaf at 7:43 PM on September 25, 2009



It really seems that the original post is lacking some context. The Brazilian president Lula demanded that ousted Honduran President Zelaya be returned to his rightful role of President of Honduras. This post is a result of Lula's address at the United Nations. The Honduras military is intent on staying on power. Maybe it's time for Brazil to flex it's non peace-keeping muscles.
posted by dealing away at 11:05 PM on September 25, 2009


This is nothing. My parents are visiting this week.
posted by srboisvert at 3:35 AM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if we would have used the same technology, had we had it, in Panama. I recall something about blasting the embassy where Noriega was hiding out with some music.
posted by nomisxid at 9:32 AM on September 26, 2009


Which then leads onto the broader question of how right is it for foreign countries/bodies to interpret Honduran law to say that the deposal of Zelaya was unconstitutional? Like Honduras saying that the decision by the Supreme Court to say Bush beat Gore was unconstitutional or something. -- djgh

--

This is more like what would have happened if, after Bush had already been in power a while, some court decided that one or another of the Bush administration's crazy new laws was unconstitutional, and on that basis Al Gore took control of the military, took control of all the news media, declared martial law, and tried to have the former President arrested. -- sfenders

You guys are talking about two seperate things. Sfenders is describing what the honduran millitary did, and djgh is talking about what the U.S and Brazil have done.

Anyway, the reason that we can call what Honduras did unconstitutional is that I believe there are some treaties these countries have signed that give other countries the right to complain about coups in each others countries.
posted by delmoi at 12:55 PM on September 26, 2009


Delmoi, we can also call it unconstitutional because what happened was illegal based on any reasonable reading of the Honduran constitution. Giordano has a good summary here: Honduras' Coup Congress Cancels Five Basic Liberties.

And I rather like this post, where the writer starts by defending the coup, then does some more research and concludes that it was illegal after all: Coup in Honduras, updated.

The subject is addressed often at Honduras Coup 2009.

If you're getting nerdish about this, here's The Exact Text of the Zelaya Plebiscite, which is not what the rightwingers claim it is.
posted by shetterly at 2:09 PM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Embassies are effectively foreign soil. Honduras is attacking Brazil -- I mean, quite literally, a causus belli exists between the two now. That's really and truly not good.
posted by effugas at 7:02 PM on September 26, 2009


Or something. This is more like what would have happened if, after Bush had already been in power a while, some court decided that one or another of the Bush administration's crazy new laws was unconstitutional, and on that basis Al Gore took control of the military, took control of all the news media, declared martial law, and tried to have the former President arrested. You can imagine some Americans would not be pleased about it.

I think "unconstitutional" is fair.


Bold of you to say without citing to any provision of the Honduran constitution.
posted by Slap Factory at 7:35 PM on September 26, 2009


Slap Factory, what, my links aren't good enough for you?

*g*

I suggest you try my second link in the message just above effugas's, which mentions Article 205, Section 12 and Section 20, plus Article 242.

Now, if you've got something to point to that says the coup *is* constitutional, I'd be grateful.
posted by shetterly at 10:30 PM on September 26, 2009


I'm heading to Honduras in about a month to work with a medical group. I"m wondering if we are going to be able to go. It's just a two week trip but a woman I work with (who's from Honduras) said you couldn't pay her to go now.
posted by whatever at 8:14 PM on September 27, 2009


The constitutional question is getting clearer: Honduras Coup Leader Micheletti Decrees 45-Day Suspension of Constitution.

whatever, good luck.
posted by shetterly at 11:39 PM on September 27, 2009


I think this is the part where we can start openly referring to the fake president and fake government.
posted by oaf at 6:24 AM on September 28, 2009


Acoustic and Chemical Attacks on the Brazilian Embassy: The Sound and Fury of the Honduran Coup
posted by shetterly at 9:23 AM on September 28, 2009


Also, Troops raid Honduran media groups. It has the best short, objective summary I've seen of the reason for the crisis:

He (Zelaya) was forced from office at gunpoint after announcing plans to hold a non-binding public consultation on whether people supported moves to change the constitution.

His opponents said the move was unconstitutional and was aimed at removing the current one-term limit on serving as president, so paving the way for Mr Zelaya's possible re-election. He has denied this.

posted by shetterly at 9:44 AM on September 28, 2009


So far as I can tell, no one has a source for the Miami Herald's claim that Zelaya said something about Israeli mercenaries, but there is an Israeli connection to the attack on the embassy: Israeli Firms Sell Toxins to Honduras Putschists
posted by shetterly at 5:01 PM on September 28, 2009


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