Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom

Honduras to Bay Islands: No Freedom till May 3, if at All

Roatan police poster threatening people with arrest and vehicle confiscation for travelling on Sunday.

After Thirty Eight Days of Isolation, Island Officials Plead with Central Government to Reopen their Economy

On March 20, the Honduran Central Government imposed “Red Alert” laws on the Bay Islands that are in fact more severe than Martial Law the country suffered in 2009. After cutting off any links with outside world and testing 33 people, the island department is one six Honduran departments where no Covid-19 cases were detected.

Numerous pleas for Roatan and Bay Islands internal economy to be opened came from Mayors and other island officials, but have fallen on death ears. “We are asking to normalize internal movement in the Bay Islands because we have zero cases of Covid19. Here we have permanent monitoring so no one enters the island. Here we have people who are very hungry Sir”, wrote Steven Garcia Arch, Bay Islands COPECO chief on April 26 to Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández . The president read the message, but has not responded.

This latest plea for threatening Bay Islands on merits of its geographical uniqueness and stringent isolation comes after the escalation of restrictions by National Police arresting people attempting to travel between Santos Guardiola and Roatan and confiscating their vehicles. The de facto martial law has made it illegal to move about between 6pm and 6am and during entire weekends.

“We put the reward to keep the wolf outside the chicken pen. Now we have a wolf inside the chicken pen.”

Ironically it was the National Police itself has caused the biggest security medical threat to the island when on April 10 Jaime Barahona, Bay Islands police chief, with 11 other National Police and three Navy personnel came on a boat from highly populated and covid-19 reporting areas of the country. The officials spend the night at the Los Fuertes police headquarters. “We put the reward to keep the wolf outside the chicken pen. Now we have a wolf inside the chicken pen” said Jerry Hynds, Roatan’s Mayor at a security meeting about the quarantine violation and possible infection by the National Police. Due to the pressure of local authorities and public the 15 officials were forced to leave the island the next day.

While there are usually 230 National police officers stationed on the Roatan the security on the island rests mostly in the hands of private security companies at residences, banks and businesses.

With the economy on a shut down the security situation on Roatan has steadily deteriorated. There were several home invasions and robberies of basic materials such as fuel and food have been increasing. On March 29, Ron Kellerman, a retired special Ops Vietnam veteran was killed at his home in First Bight. Another murder occurred in Oak Ridge. The drug smuggling has continued and Honduran Navy has fired at a boat presumed to be bringing cocaine from the coast to Oak Ridge area.

While a majority of Bay Islanders would like to have their economy be open like Sweden, Holland did, and the Honduran Central Government is determined to confine healthy islanders to their homes. That is unlikely to happen as Bay Islands are just a speckle of little importance on a map of countries that fell to the global agenda of eliminating individual freedoms, total surveillance and economic looting.

The “Red Alert” laws have quarantined healthy islanders and convinced them to give up their rights to worship, right to travel, and rights to assemble “for their own safety.” While fearful and confused the islanders submitted to the draconian measures, but when the dust settles they are likely to be left with less security and less freedoms.