Thirty Forgotten Roatanians Sneak Back Home
A boat with around 30 people arrived in Jonesville at 3AM on May 16. Their desperate trip was preempted by two months of pleadings, petitions and protests addressed to central and municipal governments of Roatan. All their pleas were answered with empty promises and tear gas.
According to Bay Islands Governor Dino Silvestri nine people presented themselves to authorities upon arrival, another seven were arrested ad put under quarantine and fourteen others have not been yet located some of them in Santa Helena. According to Governor Silvestri, the radar system installed on the west of the island didn’t pick the boat’s signal.
“It’s been over two months and not even the plan [for returning of stranded on the mainland islanders] has been created, people can only have much patience, and now they are out of it, angry, desperate and broke,” wrote Haydee Muñoz, a Roatan resident.
Tegucigalpa technocrats locked out 20,000 Santos Guardiolans without giving them access to medicine, to supermarkets, banks or gas.
Since March 16, Roatan alongside other 17 Honduran Departments have been pressed into fit-all heavy handed policy of shutting down people in their homes and hoping for the best. “All constitutional rights have been suspended,” said Governor Dino Silvestri.
On May 16, officials at the Central Government’s – National Risk Management System [Sistema Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos – SINAGER] have decided to cut of municipality of Santos Guardiola for 14 days from the rest of the world. “If the results come out positive, the department will go into absolute curfew,” the unsigned SINAGER document threatened Utilians, Guanajans and Roatanians.
Tegucigalpa technocrats locked out 20,000 Santos Guardiolans without giving them access to medicine, to supermarkets, banks or gas stations. The immune from legal action technocrats were deciding about people’s lives from their offices in Tegucigalpa.
The next day protesters gathered at the border between the two Roatan Municipalities. After several hours they forced down the blockade of the National Police that attempted to keep residents of Santos Guardiola from crossing into Roatan Municipality.
The past 63 days of “Red Alert” shutting down did not allow the islanders or the Central Government to create COVID-19 treatment infrastructure. The island has no COVID-19 testing labs, no ventilators and trained staff to manage the ventilators.
Governor Silvestri announced that $25,000 from the COVID-19 emergency fund will be given to a committee that is coordinating the return of Roatanians home from the mainland. While Utila managed to bring back 19 of its people, around 250 people are still waiting to come back to Roatan in La Ceiba.