(CMR) Temperatures were escalating this morning in Roatan, Honduras after several communities decided to block off their residential areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The escalation resulted in a violent shootout this morning in the Oak Ridge area between residents and the authorities.
Further violence is being threatened if the blockades are not removed to permit free access within the various area of Roatan and beyond. The area of Oak Ridge is essential for people to access for essential services.
CMR sources indicated that the recent Cayman flights to Honduras have complicated the situation and lead to some of the issues. As previously reported the Honduras government was only allowing flights into the country with the understanding that Hondurans would be remaining in La Ceiba, Honduras and not permitted to travel to the bay islands; which include Roatan for the foreseeable future.
The islands remain COVID-19 free but the virus has spread throughout the mainland with over 2,646 confirmed cases and at least 142 deaths. This has led to the islanders taking extreme measures to continue to protect themselves from the dreaded virus. On Saturday they blocked off several government housing areas including Oak Ridge.
Residents in Roatan have retaliated by also blocking their access and putting up a physical blockade. On Friday a cruise ship was permitted to drop off six crew members off a Disney cruise line in Roatan which has also caused further tensions to rise.
However, most have not been able to afford to remain in La Ceiba and our sources explained that this has led to some person sneaking into the bay islands by boat. The authorities were made aware of the situation and went to Roatan to arrest several persons. The enclosed video shows the arrested men in handcuffs being taken away by the police who were under heavy gunfire.
The lack of access to Oak Ridge and the mainland has also created issues because pregnant women and workers have not been able to access essential services and resources for healthcare including hospital access to give birth.
In some instances, the islanders have refused to allow burials to take place where the deceased died on the mainland for fear of spreading the coronavirus.