September 8, 2011
Besides Manuel Zelaya, the person who has perhaps most symbolized the Resistance movement in Honduras during the past two years is Mahadeo Roopchano Sadloo Sadloo — more commonly known by his friends as “Emmo”. He was the man who wore the distinctive long grey beard, a red t-shirt, and a red bandana tied around his head prominently displaying the word “Mel” and phrases like “They fear us because we are not afraid”. Mr. Sadloo often carried the red flag of the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) the profile of Honduran hero Francisco Morazán, and he was always at the forefront of every FNRP assembly and march. He was among the people who accompanied Mr. Zelaya during his long sojourn at the Brazilian embassy. Ironically, Emmo was not originally from Honduras, but India, and so some referred to him as el hindu. Mr. Sadloo was shot and killed in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday afternoon as he sat in a rocking chair in a tire shop he owned along Suyapa Boulevard. The assailant is an unidentified young man who arrived on a motorcycle and took aim with a 9 millimeter pistol at close range. A total of five to six shots are believed to have been fired. Mr. Sadloo was transported by paramedics to the Hospital Escuela, where he later expired.
The victim was shot minutes after returning from a demonstration in front of the Court of Appeals building calling for the release of former Minister of the Presidency Enrique Flores Lanza, who has been indicted and is currently under house arrest for embezzlement of public funds.
Already there are accusations by the FNRP that the killing of Mr. Sadloo is politically motivated. Former First Lady and likely presidential candidate for the Broad Front for Popular Resistance (FARP), Xiomara Zelaya, speculated yesterday that Mr. Sadloo’s murder was not a random crime, but rather “a political crime and a warning” against her husband, Mr. Zelaya.
“Emmo has been a bulwark of the Resistance; he has accompanied Mel, he has been at Mel’s side. They have murdered someone who is a symbol for us… and don’t come and say that it was a common crime, because this crime was committed for political reasons. This is a political crime, and it must be investigated,” said Mrs. Zelaya.
On July 21, Mr. Sadloo appeared before the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (Codeh) to file a complaint against members of Mr. Zelaya’s personal security detail. “Since I am part of the National Front for Popular Resistance and a close friend of ex-President Manuel Zelaya… when the President arrived [in Honduras] on May 28, 2011, his bodyguards — Hugo Suazo, his son Rubén Suazo, Geovany, Peña, José Enrique Navas and Eddy — detained me and beat me,” stated Mr. Sadloo. “When Mel left the [Radio Globo] radio station, I tried to board his car, and they nearly killed me. Rubén, the son of Hugo Suazo, pushed me onto the street… If I had not held on to the flatbed of the car, I would have been dead.”
Mr. Sadloo, 55 was a naturalized Honduran citizen, having arrived in the country more than 30 years ago. He was the father of 12 children — all born in Honduras. (9/8/11)