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Honduras Signs Deal to Create Private Cities

September 5, 2012

Huzzah! Congrats to many people. You know who you are. As reported by the AP:

The government of Honduras has signed a deal with private investors for the construction of three privately run cities with their own legal and tax systems.The memorandum of agreement signed Tuesday is part of a controversial experiment meant to bring badly needed economic growth to this small Central American country.

In La Prensa:

La empresaestadounidense MKG y Carlos Pineda, presidente de Coalianza, firmaron ayer el convenio para construir la primera ciudad modelo en Honduras.  La inversión inicial programada por el consorcio internacional MKG Group es de unos 15 millones de dólares para edificar la primera RED (región especial de desarrollo) en Trujillo, en la costa norte hondureña.Una vez entrado en vigencia, MKG comenzará la primera etapa, consistente en desarrollar la infraestructura física, en la que se necesitarán cinco mil empleos directos y generará 15 mil indirectos, se informó.  Michael Strong, ejecutivo de MKG, expresó: “La meta principal de nuestro proyecto es crear la base para una comunidad segura y próspera para los hondureños”.  Strong agregó que esta es una colaboración entre diversos grupos de inversionistas, empresarios y expertos que apuntan a la eliminación de la pobreza mediante creación de riqueza en Honduras por medio de las RED.

 

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2012 12:02 am

    “The project is opposed by… the indigenous Garifuna people, who say they don’t want their land near Puerto Castilla on the Caribbean coast to be used for the project.”

    The private investors should buy the land from these people. This is no way to start a free society–by violating peoples’ rights.

    • September 6, 2012 12:41 pm

      The Garifuna have no title in the land. They inhabit it, but the government is the owner of the land. And there are other people living int he same land. Like it or not.
      I don’t want the land near my home to be used for wind farming, but I have no title to prevent it, if the government decide so. The land is not mine.

      If you go to Wikipedia, you find no trace of Garifuna Land, only about Garifuna People and Garifuna Language.
      Then, the people talking for the Garifuna People who are? Some self-selected activists?

      • scarmig permalink
        September 6, 2012 4:02 pm

        Minor point, in that the government awhile back committed mass theft against the indigenous people…

      • September 6, 2012 4:13 pm

        Despite not knowing the specific history of the area, I think it’s a safe bet to say that scarmig is right.

        painlord2k, the government’s opinion on who justly has a right to the land is irrelevant. If the government gave me title to the land that your house is on, would that make me the owner of your house? Perhaps legally yes, but morally and rightfully no. So just because the government claims ownership of the indigenous’ peoples’ land does not mean that the people starting this new city only have to purchase the land from the government… they ought to purchase it from the indigenous people who morally own the land as well.

      • September 9, 2012 9:10 pm

        PRA, the point is the Garifuna don’t own the land as individuals or a collective entity. They could own the land of their villages, but I bet they didn’t use the land where the cities will be built. No one cultivate it, no one use it for anything.
        My opinion is the leaders of the Garifuna are against the RED because they would lose power. They simply don’t like competitors.

    • Eric permalink
      September 6, 2012 1:56 pm

      there is a new legal system in place to hear their concerns.

  2. Nobilis Reed permalink
    September 6, 2012 4:38 am

    Excellent! The experiment has begun… and founded on oppression.

    With such an auspicious start, how can it go wrong? It will be paradise for anyone who can afford it.

    • September 25, 2012 4:42 am

      Everything is oppression to a leftist. Capitalism breeds wealth and wealth brings Freedom. Perhaps we should send a bunch of welfare addicts to see where they might lead this experiment.

  3. September 6, 2012 4:22 pm

    Absurd comments. Should anyone buying land in Israel also buy the land from Palestinians who used to live there and have “moral rights” to the land? What if some Native American comes up to me and says my house is on his people’s ancestral lands before they were seized by the U.S. government? Do I have to pay him? What if an Italian goes to Germany and explains to some Germans that his Roman family used to live there 2,000 years ago before Germanic barbarians wrongfully ousted them. Should the Germans pay him? There would be no end to such questions. The only responsibility to the indigenous people is on the part of the government of Honduras.

    • johngalt2001 permalink
      September 6, 2012 4:24 pm

      In other words, you can say “Honduras should pay the indigenous people for the land they took” (if true) or “Honduras should give back the land they took” but not “now that Honduras owns the land, they should not be allowed to use it for a Charter city”

    • September 6, 2012 4:33 pm

      I don’t know the details of the situation, but judging from the article…

      “…the indigenous Garifuna people, who say they don’t want *their* land…”

      … it appears that it *may* be the case that the government is claiming ownership of land that rightfully belongs to certain Garifuna people. *If* that is the case, then I believe these two private investors purchasing the land to build this city should also purchase it from the people who rightfully own it–the indigenous people.

      “The only responsibility to the indigenous people is on the part of the government of Honduras.”

      Here is a semi-related article that you may want to read given your above statement:

      https://mises.org/daily/6150/Respect-Indigenous-Property-Rights

      Anyway, I am engaging in folk activism in a sense ( http://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/06/patri-friedman/beyond-folk-activism/ ). I highly doubt that my comments here on this blog post will affect the investor’s decision regarding whether or not to purchase (or at least compensate) the indigenous peoples’ land. So I will stop commenting.

  4. Jonathan permalink
    September 12, 2012 2:30 am

    Anyone notice how Strong’s Free Cities Institute website seems down?

    • September 25, 2012 4:46 am

      It sounds like a great idea but $15 million dollars won’t build one road. In order to build major infrastructure it will take Billions if not trillions to complete.

  5. lch permalink
    September 13, 2012 4:39 am

    This is an interesting development to keep an eye on. I think they’ve already put nails in the eventual coffin however by setting up a ruling board. All that has to happen is for time to pass while special interests pack that board and then the place is theirs. Too bad they were too fearful to just let the free-market determine its own course, you know, sell lots to private parties and allowing them to set up whatever security, “taxes”, tolls, systems against crime and what have you, that they chose. Those that were the best would prevail and those that sucked would go out of business.

  6. September 25, 2012 4:37 am

    Already the naysayers and vultures are saying it won’t work. They’re stealing our land. If these Garfuina people own this land why haven’t they used it to prosper instead continue living in squalor. This is a splended idea, if only they can keep the left wing commies from tearing it down. The lefties will do everything they can to make it not work because it will prove once and for all Capitalism builds wealth and wealth gives freedom. I would love to go to Honduras to work to build this dream. The town should be called Jeffersonville after our wonderful founder and believer in Capitalism.

  7. September 25, 2012 11:47 pm

    For some reason I cant find any information in the web about this company and their CEO Michael Strong, sounds interesting BUT the fact that there is nothing on the web about this company is quite fishy.

  8. March 8, 2014 10:58 am

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you ought to write more about this issue, it may not
    be a taboo subject but typically people don’t speak about such
    issues. To the next! All the best!!

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