Written reports from Central America often require Straussian skills, but at least on the surface it would appear that Honduras will go forward with some version of the free city/charter city idea. A translation passing through Google, Tom Bell, and Lotta Moberg (not holding any one of them responsible for it, but to my eye it appears acceptably close) indicates:
“The Law complements the amendments to Articles 294, 303 and 329 of the Constitution which paved the way for the creation of these special areas. [Those amendments fixed the problems that caused the Honduran S.Ct. to strike down the earlier version of the statute, which aimed to establish REDE.] The ZEDE legislation authorizes the establishment of courts with exclusive jurisdiction, which may adopt legal systems and traditions of other parts of the world, provided that they ensure equal or better protection of constitutional human rights protected under Honduran law.”
The legislation was hardly crammed down the legislature’s throat. As I mentioned, the Honduran S.Ct. struck down an earlier version of the statute. The ZEDE legislation sparked “a fierce debate because several municipalities fear losing their autonomy and tax collection.” (The answer to those objections, in floor debate: You can arrange annexation by the ZEDE, winning the same legal status.)
Interested in moving there? “The ZEDE may establish coexistence agreements with people who wish to live or reside freely within their jurisdiction.”
There is a Honduran Spanish-language link here (it doesn’t work in every browser, but experiment). It starts with this, which seems clear enough:
La ley orgánica especial que regulará las Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo Económico (ZEDE), la nueva versión de las “ciudades modelos”, fue aprobada ayer por el Congreso Nacional en su último debate, lo que deja las puertas abiertas para que empresarios extranjeros inviertan en regiones específicas con reglas diferentes al resto del país y con autonomía propia.
And for the pointer I thank Lotta Moberg.