Roatan Honduras came onto the radar of Cruise Law News in January of this year when a U.S. family who took a Carnival cruise to the island was robbed at gun point while driving in a rental car. The bandito shot the car up, terrifying the three children in the car as well as their parents, who had no idea that they had taken the kids to such a violent place for a family vacation.
The mother subsequently left us a message saying:
"My Husband, 8, 14, 15 year old daughters and I were shot at, robbed and almost killed after returning from one of the Roatan Beaches. I find it hard to believe that cruise lines would be wanting to increase tourism to Honduras. People innocently go there to enjoy it's beauty unaware of the danger lurking. My heart goes out to the family of the Norwegian cruise line crew member that was just killed there in broad daylight."
We subsequently reported about several other tourists robbed or assaulted at gun point this year. We were also the first in the U.S. to report on the murder of a NCL crew member in Coxen Hole.
What struck me most about Roatan when I began speaking to local residents and people who fled the island was not just the crime and sense of lawlessness. I was surprised by the extraordinary efforts of the expatriate U.S. citizens who live in Roatan to create the false and misleading impression that the place was a safe, tropical paradise.
Today in reading the local Insular Teledifusora Facebook page, I see that a local man identified as Rodrigo Mendoza Nelson was shot multiple times. His body was dumped along a road from Coxen Hole to Sandy Bay near an entrance to a place called "Mud Hole" late last night.
The images of the lifeless body on the Teledifusora Insular page are graphic.
The web page also shows several crude images of men who were quickly arrested for the murder.
A week ago I wrote about another murder of a local man who was bludgeoned to death near the Balfate colony area.
None of these images or stories will be seen by tourists to Roatan.
Nor will the expatriate citizens running the tour or dive shops, or the restaurants or bars, or the resorts or realty companies mention these incidents to cruise ship passengers.
Image Credit: Teledifusora Insular