Supporters of ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya protest outside of the local offices of the Organization of American States in Tegucigalpa.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to meet ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya this week in what would be the highest-level contact the Obama administration has had with Zelaya since he was deposed last week.
Zelaya, who was barred by the Honduran military from landing in the Tegucigalpa airport when he tried to return in a plane borrowed from Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, is expected in Washington on Tuesday. The Obama Administration has said it wants Zelaya returned to power. He was ousted by the military and replaced by a top legislator after the nation's Supreme Court ruled his bid for another term was unconstitutional.
In Honduras, protests that had remained largely peaceful yielded their first death. Police and soldiers blanketed the streets of the capital overnight Monday - enforcing a sunset-to-sunrise curfew with batons and metal poles.announced a 24-hour ban on all flights at the country's main airport starting Monday morning.
The extended curfew added to the tension after a turbulent Sunday that saw soldiers clash with thousands of Zelaya backers who massed at the airport in hopes of welcoming home their deposed leader.
"I call on the Armed Forces of Honduras to lower their rifles," Zelaya said late Sunday at a news conference, flanked by the presidents of El Salvador, Argentina, Paraguay and Ecuador, and the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, who flew there from Washington.
"I am risking myself personally to resolve the problems without violence," said Zelaya, who planned to fly later to Nicaragua. He urged the United Nations, the OAS, the United States and European countries to "do something with this repressive regime."
Insulza said he "is open to continuing all appropriate diplomatic overtures to obtain our objective."
But interim Honduran President Roberto Micheletti said he won't negotiate until "things return to normal."
"We will be here until the country calms down," Micheletti said. "We are the authentic representatives of the people."
One option under discussion among diplomats would have Zelaya return to power to finish his remaining six months in office with limited and clearly defined powers, The Associated Press reported. He would not be allowed to change the constitution to run again under the compromise plan.
Clashes broke out Sunday afternoon between police and soldiers and the huge crowd of Zelaya supporters surrounding Tegucigalpa's international airport. At least one man was killed - shot in the head from inside the airport as people tried to break through a security fence, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene. At least 30 people were treated for injuries, the Red Cross said, after security forces fired warning shots and tear gas.
When Zelaya's plane was turned away, his supporters began chanting "We want blue helmets!" - a reference to U.N. peacekeepers.
Karin Antunez, 27, was in tears.
"We're scared. We feel sad because these coup soldiers won't let Mel return, but we're not going to back down," she said. "We're the people and we're going to keep marching so that our president comes home."
Zelaya won wide international support after his ouster, but several presidents who originally were to accompany him decided it was too dangerous to fly on Zelaya's plane, which carried only his close advisers and staff, two journalists from the Venezuela-based network Telesur and U.N. General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, a leftist Nicaraguan priest and former foreign minister.
Honduras' new government has vowed to arrest Zelaya for 18 alleged criminal acts including treason and failing to implement more than 80 laws approved by Congress since taking office in 2006. Zelaya also refused to comply with a Supreme Court ruling against his planned referendum on whether to hold an assembly to consider changing the constitution.
Critics feared Zelaya might try to extend his rule and cement presidential power in ways similar to what his ally Chavez has done in Venezuela - though Zelaya denied that.
The military solution drew international condemnation, and Honduras was suspended by the OAS. Many called the coup a huge step backward for democracy, and no nation has recognized the new government. President Barack Obama has united with Chavez and conservative Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in insisting on Zelaya's return.
Speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the State Department, senior U.S. officials said the United States and other OAS member countries are coordinating contacts to facilitate a resolution, despite their insistence on having no formal relations with the interim government.
Without OAS membership, Honduras faces trade sanctions and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidized oil, aid and loans for the impoverished nation.
Moments after Zelaya's plane was turned away, trucks filled with police ordered everyone off the streets.
"This is a war," said Matias Sauceda, 65, a human rights activist. "Imagine - things are so bad, that the president is in the air and they don't let him land."