Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom
Roatanians register at a Coxen Hole school for their new national IDs. (Photo by Gabriela Galeas)

Roatanians Line up to Be Counted

Hondurans are getting a new ID cards and Bay Islanders are now being counted and their information entered into a database. On Roatan the “Identificate” ID process begun on August 10 at two public schools on Coxen Hole and Sandy Bay. From there the canvassing team is expected Los Fuertes and to Santos Guardiola, Utila and Guanaja.

“We will have an actual census on ‘adultos’ when we are done,” said Jesús Reyez, coordinator of the project “Identificate” in charge of a team 38 people that conduct the registering of Hondurans in the four municipalities of the Bay Islands.

The last 2012 census undercounted Bay Islanders reporting 59,170 people living on Roatan’s two municipalities. With the new numbers coming during the ID registrations it could become obvious that Bay Islands department is eligible for not one, but two congress seats. The 128 Honduran deputies in Congress are assigned per population and currently each deputy represents around 62,000 Hondurans. Bay Islands department have likely surpassed the 124,000 needed for second deputy.

On national level around 45,000 people are registered for new IDs daily and the data collection is expected to last until December. Around the country there are 86 teams of 3,000 paid employees and volunteers doing ID data processing.

Out of the estimated 8.2 million Hondurans, the government believes 6 million are adults and 5.5 million will end up with new IDs. This ID will have 20 security features including a chip: fingerprints, signature, and photograph with facial recognition. The IDs have to be distributed to individuals before March 14, 2021 in time for the first round of national and local elections in Honduras.

The contract for printing the new Honduran IDs has been awarded to French consortium of Thales and Selp and will be printed by Thale’s subsidiary in Poland. Thales is multinational company specializing in defense and security contract.

According to Rolando Kattan, president of National Persons Registry, the cost of printing the ID will $1.88 per unit. The entire cost of the project is estimated to be $50 million, of which $20 million comes from the donation of the International Development Bank, and the rest from the European Union.