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Hondurans Fight Private Cities Run by U.S. Companies as Gov’t Sued for Outlawing “Neocolonial Project”

Written by on 28/06/2023

In Honduras, communities are fighting back against privatization and foreign exploitation after Honduran President Xiomara Castro and Congress repealed a law that established so-called Economic Development and Employment Zones, where private companies have “functional and administrative autonomy” from the national government. Now a Delaware-based company called Próspera has launched a case to challenge the repeal of the law under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement and is seeking almost $11 billion, which amounts to nearly two-thirds of the country’s entire 2022 budget. This is an example of the “extreme investor rights” of this international trade agreement directly opposing Honduran sovereignty, says Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. We also speak with local leader Venessa Cárdenas of Crawfish Rock, the area directly impacted by the Próspera ZEDE on the island of Roatán, about the stress of losing control over their community. “We don’t know when our home will be taken from us,” says Cárdenas. “We, of course, have the rights to be free and previously consulted on any type of project that is being done in our community.”

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