PBI-Honduras observes town hall meeting in municipality of Arizona that rejects ZEDEs economic zones and extractivism
On July 22, PBI-Honduras posted: “We observed the open town hall in the municipality of Arizona [in the department of] Atlántida, where the municipality was declared ‘free from #ZEDEs and extractive projects.’”
PBI-Honduras adds: “The municipality expressed concern about the exploitation of the department’s resources, particularly on the north coast due to ‘the great interests in obtaining oil, minerals and the African palm magnates.’”
And PBI-Honduras notes: “Arizona communities have been resisting for years against hydroelectric projects and criminalization of human rights defenders, including the mayor of Arizona for the Dignity Camp in defence of the Jilamito River.”
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.”
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.
Then on July 3, as noted above PBI-Honduras observed the open town hall meeting in Trujillo where the municipality was declared free of ZEDEs.
And now PBI-Honduras has observed the town hall in municipality of Arizona where the municipality was declared free from ZEDEs and extractive projects.