Para los lectores hispanos: toda la información está en nuestro idioma en los enlaces.
I've made a rough translation for english visitors. I'm not even a mediocre english writter, and it's difficult to translate all the legal terms, but this is way better than a Google translation. Bolds and italic are mine:
Tegucigalpa - Honduras Congress approved the ZEDE Organic Law [Employment and Economic Development Zones (or Job and Economic Development Areas if you want a pretty acronim)], better known as Ciudades Modelo, along with decrees to make a referendum in two areas of honduran territory to perform the creation of special districts.
In November election there will be an urn in Peña Blanca, Cortés, and another in the Suyapa village, Tegucigalpa, to ask about the creation of special districts in both locations.
Honduran Parliament sanctioned the ZEDE internal ruleset wich consist of 25 articles and that will be the instrument for constitution, regulation and operation of them.
It was approved by two thirds of the chamber this wednesday afternoon.
"The Economic and Employment Development Zones, from now on ZEDE, are inalienable part of the Honduras State, are subject to the Republic Constitution and to the national government in matters related to sovereignty, justice application, territory, national defense, international relations, electoral matters, ID document emission and passports", reads the first article.
It also adds that ZEDE are "autonomous entities of Honduras State, with their own legal entity created with the purpose of accelerating the compliment of Nation Plan ends and easing conditions that allow the country the insertion into global markets under highly competitive and stable rules."
Cases for ZEDE creation
ZEDEs will be legal entities on their own and would be created aiming at developing International Financial Centers, International Logistical Centers, Autonomous Cities, International Commercial Courts, Investment Special Districts, Renewable Energy Districts, Special Economic Zones, Zones subject to Special Juridic System.
Also as Special Agroindustrial Zones, Touristic Special Zones, Mining Social Zones, Social Forestal Zones or any other special regime not specified that includes a combination of several of those regimes to ensure the development of investments under integrating models.
Also, the special fiscal regime of the ZEDEs allows the creation of their own budget, the right to collect and administrate their own taxes, to determine the taxes for services provided, to make all kind of agreements or contracts until their expiration, even through different government terms. They should create the right economical and legal environmnet to position them as national and international investment centers.
ZEDEs are subject to a special jurisdiction and will count with autonomous and independent courts with exclusive competence in all the areas not subject to compulsory arbitration [sounds like they will be independent in all cases except penal]. The courts will be created by Judicial Power by means of the Judiciary Council under Technical Secretary proposition and will operate under comon or english law.
Another stand out point in the ZEDE internal ruleset stablishes that they're fiscal and custom extraterritorial areas, different from the rest of national territory.
The creation of ZEDEs will be made by National Congress decree in compliment with rules. For when the declared area is of low population density, a National Statistics Institute (INE) judgement should be taken into account, certifying the situation in accordance with the stablished in article 329 of Republic Constitution.
When the area to be declared is located into a high population density zone, before its creation there should be a plebiscite in the municipalities where the area is to be located, allowing the decree of it's creation only if the result of the vote is in favour of it.
First Plebiscites Approved
In the same legislative day of this Wednesday referendums were approved for Peña Blanca, Cortés, and the Suyapa village, Francisco Morazán, to make a plebiscite with the purpose of creating an Agro Turistic district and a Religious one [also turistic], respectively.
Those plebiscites will be on November 24th, same day as general elections; in Peña Blanca case, jurisdiction of Santa Cruz de Yojoa, it will be asked about the proposition of converting this location into a municipality and also into an agricultural, turistical, economical and employment development zone.
In the Suyapa village case, Distrito Central, voters opinion will be checked about setting it as a religious turistic district.
- The vote in Congress was 102 for and 26 against
- "There are still inconstitutional vices in the law, because now it's allowed for foreigners to purchase honduran territories forbidden by the 105 article of the Constitution" <- This probably refeers to the article that keps foreigners from buying land less than 40km from the coast or borders. That would also explain why the first two ZEDEs are far inland.
- Peña Blanca, neighborhoud of Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Cortés: this area was requested by it's own citizens to become a ZEDE! that's because it would give them their own municipality, for economic development and becase political troubles with central Yojoa mayor.
- The Peña Blanca area is 110.02 square kilometers - Great!
- Referendum 24th November, along with general elections.
- A nice post in english about constitutional amendments and expecting to find the new law text. Somewhat critical, wich is nice.
- Supaya area comprises 3185 blocks. CORRECTION: there is a missinterpretation in most honduran newspapers. Actually and without going into details it will be 22'25 km2.
- They got 3140 signs from inhabitants (out of 60.000), to request it. Seems that both ZEDEs come from popular inquiry.
- Unemployment (75%) and crime in the area are currently rampant.
- The comment at Marginal Revolution.
- An enthusiastic analysis on dreamsofcities blog :).
Peña Blanca is about this flat area:
Ver mapa más grande
This seems to be the Suyapa neighborhood in Tegucigalpa. Can't clearly define the boundaries (the Church is outside it, and its the main reason for the ZEDE). Some reports say it's controlled by Los Pumas band:
Ver mapa más grande
Note: Don't get too excited, fellow libertarians. The exact ruleset for these places is not yet clear. I'm expecting to find and translate the approved organic law in the coming days.