The week at a glance...Americas
Tegucigalpa, HondurasOusted president returns: Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya returned to his homeland to cheering crowds last week, saying the coup that ousted him two years ago was “an international conspiracy.” In 2009, soldiers bundled him onto a plane and sent him out of the country, in a military coup that had the blessing of both the Honduran legislature and the supreme court. Other countries in the region protested, and Honduras was kicked out of the Organization of American States. Zelaya’s return is part of a deal to end the country’s diplomatic isolation. Zelaya can’t run for re-election because Honduran presidents are limited to a single term in office, but his wife, Xiomara Castro, is now planning to run.
Bogotá, Colombia Farms returned: Colombia is attempting to restore millions of acres of land stolen from its rightful owners during the long war against the FARC rebel group. Over the past 25 years, hundreds of thousands of families have been pushed off their farms—many by the FARC, but others by drug gangs or right-wing militias allied with the government. Last week, the government passed two land-restitution laws and charged the Agriculture Ministry with tracking down land records and verifying claims. “Lasting peace in the country, it has always been said, will come through the settlement of land disputes,” said Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo. “Today, we have taken a decisive step in this direction.”