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12 Jul 2021

The London Economic

Honduras: Brexiter lawyer listed as an adviser for the Zones for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs); according to the Supreme Court, the project violates the national sovereignty

“REVEALED: Brexiter government adviser behind special economic zone threatening Honduras sovereignty”, 11 June 2021

...A Brexiter who is one of the UK’s most influential free trade campaigners and has advised the government on the topic made front page news in Honduras. It comes after trade lawyer Shanker Singham was listed as an adviser for US-registered Honduras Próspera LLC...Próspera, a “private city” and special economic zone on the Roatan island, Honduras, is a Zone for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDE) – a new type of administrative division in Honduras which has autonomy in politics and justice, but also at economic and administrative level. The zones will also be established in the UK, in a more watered-down version, as chancellor Rishi Sunak announced earlier this year. Sunak’s freeports will be based around England’s biggest coastal cargo ports…The company Singham works for wants to make it easier to start a business, pay taxes or import goods in the area. But the Honduran Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that this type of administration is invalid, because it would violate the national sovereignty of the Central American country..[A]lthough the project promises various vital services such as education and health, even Honduran nationals will have to apply for permission to be in the area – for a fixed period of time...Rosa Danelia Hendrix, president of the Bay Islands Federation of Village Councils, slammed the libertarian philosophy as showing an “aversion towards states, their laws and regulations”. And the Technical University of Munich subsidiary withdrew from the ZEDE project in Honduras because of “indications of human rights violations”...