PBI-Honduras observes town hall meeting in Trujillo where municipality is declared free of ZEDEs

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On July 6, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted: “We observed the open town hall [cabildo] this Saturday, July 3 in the central square of the city of Trujillo, Colon where the municipality was declared free of ZEDEs.”

PBI-Honduras adds: “Mayor Hector Mendoza highlighted the autonomy that municipalities have to make their own decisions according to section 12 of the Law on Municipalities.”

What are ZEDES?

ZEDEs are Economic Development and Employment Zones. They are also referred to as charter cities, startup cities or free private cities.

On May 19, the Government of Honduras stated: “The ZEDE presents new opportunities for investors, in particular those who are looking to diversify their supply chains; also, help facilitate greater trade between through various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.”

NACLA more critically notes: “The 2013 ZEDE law provided unprecedented legislative, administrative, judicial, and financial autonomy to investors for a wide range of territorial ventures, including urban development and resource extraction.”

There are reportedly three ZEDEs: Prospera, Ciudad Morazán and Orquidea.

Canada and ZEDEs

Karen Spring, a Canadian activist based in Honduras, has previously noted that Canadian Randy Jorgensen is a major investor in various tourist projects in the Trujillo Bay area including various gated-community projects.

In an October 2015 article, Spring wrote: “In the Trujillo region, Garifuna communities are being evicted from their ancestral lands amid the possible construction of an Economic Development and Employment Zone (ZEDE) or Model City.”

She adds: “Jorgensen’s investments are seen as the seed of a future ZEDE or parts of what could grow into a free trade, special development zone in the region.”

Several years earlier (2011), Spring had also noted: “Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold, the TD bank and other institutions are investing funds in the Canadian Shield Fund that is trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In partnership with Randy Jorgensen, the Canadian Shield Fund is investing in the Model City.”


On June 19, PBI-Honduras observed the open town hall gathering in La Ceiba where the population of that community said no to ZEDEs.

On June 22, PBI-Honduras was also present at the Supreme Court of Justice in Tegucigalpa when Honduran civil society organizations affirmed their opposition to ZEDEs and their commitment to stop them.

Now, on July 3, as noted above PBI-Honduras observed the open town hall meeting in Trujillo where the municipality was declared free of ZEDEs.

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