Honduran leaders' effigies up in smoke for New Year

 @ibtimes
on January 01 2010 1:23 PM

Honduras (Reuters) - The main players in Honduras' dramatic 2009 coup went up in smoke on Friday as one village said good riddance to a difficult year.

Hondurans burnt life-sized dolls of ousted President Manuel Zelaya and de facto leader Roberto Micheletti in a traditional New Year ritual near Germania, a small town south of the capital Tegucigalpa.

Villagers also set fire to an effigy of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who supported fellow leftist Zelaya and even threatened military action.

The three of them are guilty for everything that has happened, they have greatly hurt us, said Luis Lagos, 22, an upholsterer who also makes the dolls, known as monigotes.

Soldiers grabbed Zelaya on June 28 and threw him out of the country in his pyjamas, sparking Central America's worst political crisis since the Cold War.

The Honduran president has failed to be reinstated and has been holed up since September in the Brazilian Embassy, where he welcomed 2010 playing his guitar and singing with his family and supporters. His future is unclear since Honduras elected a new president in November.

Monigotes are made of pieces of foam, fabric, leather and rugs. Traditional at New Year, they are popular across Honduras and other Latin American countries.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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