A delegation from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) traveled to Honduras in August 2015 to produce a film documenting the looming threat of the first semi-autonomous zones, known as Zones for Economic Development and Employment (ZEDEs). The film titled, ZEDEs: Neocolonialism and land grabbing in Honduras is being released today.
Watch the video online:
ZEDEs, also described as “model cities” or “charter cities,” represent a radical experiment in neoliberalism in which Honduran territory is ceded to the control of foreign investors who will develop their own economic, legal, judicial and security systems. Billed by proponents as a way to spur development, promote functioning institutions, and circumvent corruption, those directly affected by the prospect of the ZEDEs tell a starkly different story. They see ZEDEs as an extreme iteration of longstanding historical patterns of siphoning off the country’s natural resources for the benefit of local and international elites. With little recourse in a corrupt legal system, besieged indigenous and campesino communities are organizing in peaceful resistance to land grabs that have already started to displace them from their homes and livelihoods. Communities are bracing for an escalation in the conflicts as land slated for ZEDEs becomes more valuable.
ZEDEs: Neocolonialism and land grabbing in Honduras introduces the brave individuals who are taking a stance in defense of the legacies of their ancestors, the rights of their communities, and the potential of future generations to live in peace and prosperity. Advocates and community leaders frame the shift towards extreme neoliberalism in the aftermath of the 2009 coup that has created a human rights crisis in the country.
ZEDEs: Neocolonialism and land grabbing in Honduras is available on YouTube or the NLG International Committee website at nlginternational.org. Please disseminate this film to your contacts, social media, and add it to your organization’s website or newsletter. There is no need to obtain permission for screenings. Refer to the “Report of the National Lawyers Guild Delegation Investigation of Zones for Economic Development and Employment in Honduras” for further information about the human and legal implications of these neoliberal privatization schemes.
The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights.
# # #
‘Model Cities’: The Biggest Threat to Democracy in Honduras? by Tyler Ingraham, NLG Haywood Burns Fellow and August NLG Delegation Member to Honduras
Contact: Mark Sullivan, email@example.com
Watch the film in Spanish: