Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), arrived in the Honduran capital around Friday noon, in an attempt to help resolve the political crisis in the country following the Sunday coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya.
The OAS chief arrived by a Brazilian Air Force aircraft at Hernan Acosta Mejia Military Base in Tegucigalpa at about 12:50 p.m. local time (1850 GMT). He is expected to meet with officials and representatives from Honduras' court, parliament, government and unions, seeking the reinstatement of President Zelaya.
Through these meetings, Insulza will try to find out what has taken place in the nation since Zelaya was seized at his residence in the early hours of Sunday by hooded and heavily-armed soldiers, who then forced him to board a plane to Costa Rica.
A group of 20 police accompanied by prosecutors were also waiting at the base to arrest Zelaya, in case he came with the OAS chief. Officials from the post-coup government accuse Zelaya of abuse of power, treason and usurpation of functions.
Insulza's first meeting was with Supreme Court officials, who had barred Zelaya from holding a non-binding referendum on altering Honduras' constitution. Zelaya's forced exile came just hours before the nation was due to hold the referendum, in defiance of the Supreme Court's instructions.
On Tuesday, the OAS gave Honduras' post-coup government 72 hours to restore Zelaya or face expulsion from the regional body. The nation currently has less than 16 hours to comply.
Insulza will return to the OAS' Washington headquarters later on Friday and will host an emergency meeting with OAS officials on Saturday, the day when the ultimatum expires.
Also arriving in Honduras for the same purpose was Guatemala's Rigoberta Menchu, winner of 1992's Nobel Peace Prize.