"On June 28, 2009, the Honduran military detained President Manuel Zelaya and flew him to exile in Costa Rica, ending 27 years of uninterrupted elected civilian democratic rule. The move was backed by the Honduran Supreme Court and National Congress, which selected Roberto Micheletti, the head of Congress, to fulfill the rest of Zelaya's term. Zelaya's removal was brought on by the ousted president's insistence in pushing ahead with a referendum that was ruled illegal and eventually could have led to changes to the Honduran constitution. The United States and international community have universally condemned the events in Honduras and called for a restoration of Zelaya and the rule of law. Those involved in the ouster and some sectors of Honduran society have rejected the international response, and maintain that Zelaya's removal was an internal matter that was necessary to protect the country's constitution. The political instability brought about by the removal of President Zelaya has created yet another challenge for Honduras, one of the hemisphere's poorest countries. In addition to significant challenges in the areas of crime, human rights, and improving overall economic and living conditions, the country faces a poverty rate of nearly 70%, high infant mortality, and a significant HIV/AIDS epidemic. While traditional agricultural exports of coffee and bananas are still important for the economy, nontraditional sectors, especially the maquiladora, or export-processing industry, have grown significantly over the past decade."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34027