Honduran Government Reported to Have Officially Published New "Start Up City" Law


Tom Bell, a legal scholar with his hands in the development of plans for what used to be called in various forms "free cities" or "charter cities" and are now called by those involved "start up cities," reported today on the Facebook page for the "Voice and Exit" group dedicated to those ideas that Honduras has officially published the newest law allowing for such zones–free in certain respects from regulations that stymie that rest of the country.

A link to the Voice and Exit Facebook page, for Facebookers. Bell included a link to what is said to be the official Honduran publication of the law, which Bell says two Honduran sources have verified did happen.

Back before the people involved started using the term "start-up city," I wrote of the history of the idea so far in Honduras in Reason's June issue. The official re-approval of the idea (which had previously passed but been scotched by Honduran courts) happened in June.

A Reason.TV interview from August with Bell on start up cities:

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  1. which had previously passed but been scotched by Honduran court

    This is why these ideas are doomed. One needs to have tremendous faith that the legal underpinnings of such a structure won’t be changed on a whim. Why should any serious investor trust the Hondurans to not pull a bait and switch?

    1. That goes for investment anywhere – people willing to risk money will look at the risks involved and decide for themselves if they’re willing to chance losing the investment.

      Hell, foreigners still invest inside Russia even though the place isn’t a haven for the rule of law by any definition.

    2. It wasn’t changed on a whim. It was legislated into being, but the court ruled it unconstitutional, and from what I can tell, the ruling was correct. So now it’s on a firm constitutional footing.

  2. I can see the Honduran government allowing this, and then it starts up and gets very prosperous. Next thing you know, the Honduran government suddenly decides to seize all of the assets of the gringos.

    You really cannot trust 3rd world governments in central America, they don’t have a very good track record.

    1. The charter needs to allow for a well-armed citizen militia. Like, Tony Stark well-armed.

      1. Oh my God it’s beautiful. A city of brilliant weaponized libertarians, ideally with genetic upgrades and augmented genitalia.

    2. 1) Have a dealy response. 2) Bribe the right mofos.

      1. Yes.

        And even without paying off a nuclear power for protection, in an era defined by globalization, no financially modern country is going to sit by while a Hong Kong or Singapore gets raided and sinks everyone’s economy.

  3. Sure it can change, but I believe the Hondurans are serious. The near unanimous vote in 2012, the overwhelming majority this time, comes after they got an education in 2009. They got the pants scared off them with the nearly successful coup by Cuba-Chavez puppet Zelaya. They HATE their poverty, but the rich have been now scared into doing something.

    My wife is from Honduras so I’ve followed this closely. They were shocked when the world condemned them for stopping the Chavez-engineered planned coup that came in the wake of Soros’ keynote speech to a Central America-Caribbean presidential summit.

    Hondurans are different. The politicians were forced by family, friends, Hondurans, and even the rich to push back. They also apparently still have an independent press, and they were the only ones at Oscar Arias’ “peace proposal” press conference to ask him what made him think Zelaya would obey the constitution if he was put back in power, after trying to subvert it before?

    They stood against the whole world for their sovereignty and freedom. Eventually they even gave up trying to find a price high enough to get protestors.

  4. The first thing Lobo did was to invite all interested parties to submit suggestions for bringing prosperity to Honduras. Among them was an expat who became a sort of representative of the expat community (solidly supported Honduras in 2009 overwhelmingly, including Brazilian expats who surprised visiting Brazilian congressmen with their outrage at Zelaya’s presence in their embassy). This representative took my own suggestions to study other success stories around the world like Chile, South Korea, and others. And technology.

    I guess they did exactly that, because I’ve seen a video produced by them that points out those very examples that Honduras can do something. This initiative is very thought out, because it allows these independent zones in such a way as to let them experiment with different ways of doing things.

    The key is that the right people get into place for the implementation. I think they really want to make it work.

    Remember, Honduras has proven to be different. Columbia said no way do we want American bases, Honduras said we want them there, we do what we want to. But they told Obama and the Pentagon to go pound sand when they were told to reinstate Zelaya. The American ambassador was meeting with Zelaya and his operatives the night before he was going to pull off his survey fraud and got a phone call that made him mad and he left in a huff–no doubt because he found out that Honduras was going to arrest the dictator Zelaya (as court-ordered).

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