Updated to include arrival of National Guard.
An Indiana couple in their late 60s, returning to their San Crisanto beach house from a family emergency, were blocked and harassed by dozens of locals frenzied over coronavirus fears.
The frenzy came with death threats. The couple offered to quarantine inside their home, but villagers threatened to hang them or burn them alive, reported Yucatan Ahora. Some brought cans of gasoline to back up the threat.
“Either they leave or we take them out,” said one of the neighbors.
When no help came from local authorities, the National Guard arrived to calm the crowd, which had cornered the couple onto the beach, where they sat awaiting help.
The drama unfolded in real time in the Yucatan Beach Friends Facebook group. Friends rallied through comments, urging the pair to call 911 and even the governor.
“Please someone help, we are desperate!” reads one of their posts.
“Please call the Federal Police phones going dead help!!!” reads another.
Access to beach houses has been made difficult during the coronavirus lockdown. But the husband and wife, both 68, are not vacationers. The pair have been permanent residents for many years and had a court order allowing them to pass a checkpoint and return home.
Friends indicated in the comments that their home’s caretaker had already abandoned the home, leaving their pet dogs unattended.
The couple were turned away from the sanitary checkpoint on Saturday, so they stayed the night at a friend’s house, reports the local newspaper.
Once there, they found a lawyer who managed to obtain a court order that allowed them access to San Crisanto. The mob was not swayed by the document.
The couple also spoke on the telephone with Mayor Felipe de Jesús Rojas Escalante, who offered to call them back to resolve the matter, but after several hours had not done so, reports Yucatan Ahora.
The couple refused to leave, saying it’s better for them to be evaluated by a doctor to rule out that they have any signs of COVID-19.
Some commenters on the news site expressed resentment that a couple with money could buy their way out of a “stay in place” order. Others bemoaned the ignorance of the agitators.
Another local commenter vouched for the couple as caring, generous people who have done good things for the community, only breaking quarantine to attend the funeral of their daughter, who died suddenly.