06212018Headline:
5 Green Reasons Costa Rica Is the Poster Child of the Environment 4 years ago
Have You Tried Guanacaste’s Fastest Growing Sport? 4 years ago
Was Your Costa Rican Bank Account Closed? 4 years ago
Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

Honduran Court Rules Private Cities ‘Unconstitutional’

Article Summary:

The constitutional chamber of Honduras’ Supreme Court ruled recently that privately run cities in the Central American country would be unconstitutional, threatening a project to build “model cities” with their own police, laws, government, and tax systems.

Photo Credit: Honduras Weekly

Original Article Text From Business Week:

Honduran Court: Private Cities ‘Unconstitutional’

The constitutional chamber of Honduras’ Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that privately run cities in the Central American country would be unconstitutional, threatening a project to build “model cities” with their own police, laws, government and tax systems.

The five-judge panel voted 4-to-1 in a ruling that goes against the Honduran government and the country’s elite.

Because the decision was not unanimous, the case now goes to the full 15-member Supreme Court, which is expected to take it up within 10 days.

The constitutional judges argued that “the foreign investment expected to be received by the state of Honduras implies transferring national territory, which is expressly prohibited in the constitution,” according to a copy of the ruling obtained by The Associated Press.

The investment group MGK and the Honduran government last month signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of three “private” cities that supporters of the project say would bring badly needed economic growth to the poor country.

MGK was expected to invest $15 million to begin building basic infrastructure for the first model city near Puerto Castilla on the Caribbean coast. That first city would create 5,000 jobs over the next six months and up to 200,000 jobs in the future, authorities said. South Korea has given Honduras $4 million to conduct a feasibility study.

Another city was planned for the Sula Valley in northern Honduras and a third in southern Honduras.

The project is opposed by civic groups as well as the indigenous Garifuna people, who say they don’t want their land near Puerto Castilla to be used for the project. Living along Central America’s Caribbean coast, the Garifuna are descendants of the Amazon’s Arawak Indians, the Caribbean’s Caribes and escaped West African slaves.

Authorization for the creation of private cities was passed by the Honduran Congress in January 2011 amid much controversy. Last November, the Supreme Court received a complaint against the proposed cities filed by Oscar Cruz, a former constitutional prosecutor, who calls the project “a catastrophe for Honduras.”

Link to Original Article:

From Business Week

  • Robert in Canada

    Too bad the MGK project won’t go ahead.

    Honduras government would have had more tax revenues to re-distribute and many low & middle class people would have earned a very good living.

    But it seems civic groups and indigenous people in Honduras have the same twisted left-wing logic as similar people in many other countries.

    They block development and prevent business from starting or growing. Then they demand hand-outs, welfare, and social programs that can only be paid with tax revenues from developments they blocked.

  • Gordon

    Obeying the constitution is not twisted left-wing logic. The objection is that this development would be sovereign from the country of Honduras no different than giving up national territory to an outside entity. Life is not all about money and GDP. Happiness can be found in the simple things.

  • Josh

    It is just to bad that this initiative didn’t get a chance to unfold, the idea was innovative and it is going to new ways of thinking to break through the current problems and past history of this country

Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical