As we near the date when the new government will be sworn in, protests led by ex President Zelaya are taking place. Last Saturday, January 6th, a large group of protesters took to the streets in San Pedro Sula. The protest was peaceful and no important unlawful incidents took place. Yesterday, Friday, January 12th, a political protest in Tegucigalpa turned violent.
The protest ended at the old Presidential Palace in Tegucigalpa, which is now home to the ministry of Foreign Relations. The building is iconic, and close to down town, making it easier to get to. The protest was peaceful until ex President Zelaya jumped the military blockades to lead the march to the Palace. Protesters did not get a chance to get to the presidential palace. Most protesters were peaceful. But there were some that carried big rocks in their backpacks. Who needs big rocks when you are going to a peaceful protest?
When it became obvious to those violent protesters that they would not be able to gain access and attack the old Presidential Palace. That is when they turned on the nearest iconic building nearby. This happens to be the Tegucigalpa Marriott Hotel. Thus the mob vandalized the Marriot Hotel in Tegus. The small group of violent protesters first broke the windows in the lobby. When they gained access to the building, they set fire to some of the lobby furniture. There were no guests, national or international, hurt in the event. Of course, those that were in the hotel in their rooms must have had a good scare.
I want to insist on the fact that the attack to the Marriott Tegucigalpa Hotel was not planned. It was circumstantial, and took place when protesters could not get to their target. While these protests are taking place in Tegucigalpa. All the other cities in Honduras are calm and safe. No incidents to report in San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba or elsewhere in Honduras. The big tourism destinations in the country, Copan Ruinas and the Bay Islands are calm and safe. The political fight is taking place in Tegucigalpa. As such, I would recommend avoiding travel to Tegucigalpa between now and the 27th of January. This is the date when the new president will take office.
If you are traveling in Honduras, you were not aware of what was going on in Tegucigalpa. That is because there are no protests taking place elsewhere. Don’t let the bad press and a few violent persons keep you from traveling to Honduras! I am happy to inform that there are security cameras at the Marriott Hotel in Tegucigalpa. The police has the videos, and they will soon arrest the perpetrators. The Hotel has international security equipment and they put the fires out in a jiffy. For a list of safe destinations in Honduras, check out blog and learn more about travel in Honduras. The Marriott Tegucigalpa Hotel is closed for the time necessary to repair the damage caused by vandals. They have safely transferred their guests to other hotels in Tegucigalpa. Guests with previously confirmed reservations have are being accommodated in other hotels in the city.