Honduran "Free Cities" Plan Fully Re-Approved by Its Government


Encouraging update from the ongoing plan to create free zones in Honduras, the story-so-far told at length in my June Reason feature "The Blank Slate State."

The latest news, as reported today on the Marginal Revolution blog, including a translation from a Spanish-language news source, is that the implementing law to make the zones real has again passed the Honduran Congress.

This has happened before, then gotten scotched by Honduran courts–see my June feature for all the details.

From Marginal Revolution:

"The Law complements the amendments to Articles 294, 303 and 329 of the Constitution which paved the way for the creation of these special areas. [Those amendments fixed the problems that caused the Honduran S.Ct. to strike down the earlier version of the statute, which aimed to establish REDE.] The ZEDE legislation authorizes the establishment of courts with exclusive jurisdiction, which may adopt legal systems and traditions of other parts of the world, provided that they ensure equal or better protection of constitutional human rights protected under Honduran law."

Spanish language article on the news, which includes a different Spanish language acronym than was the term of art when I wrote my June story–it's now "Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo Económico (ZEDE)."

Mark Klugmann, who got this idea rolling in Honduras and is quoted in my June feature, wrote on Facebook that "Honduras approves ZEDE organic law on the anniversary of Ronald Reagan's "tear down this wall!" speech.  RR stood in West Berlin, that small zone that now symbolizes the defeat of communism. The ZEDEs may be the small zones that one day will symbolize the defeat of poverty and the triumph of rule of law."