Charter Cities in Honduras

NEP’s William Black appeared on al Jazeera discussing the privatization of cities, in effect – charter cities, in Honduras. William Black has a previous post here at NEP on this same topic. If you would like to view the written commentary at al Jazeera, it is available through this link.


10 responses to “Charter Cities in Honduras

  1. That promotional video was staggeringly creepy.

  2. The legalization of crime ?

  3. Slave camps.

    Gulags ?

    • Maybe I missed the point. But they didn’t look like slave camps exactley. The idea seems to be for poor countries just to sell or rent into perpetuity chunks of their country to foreigners. The foreigners come in, move the people who live there off the land, and set up independent countries on the land they bought. I assume many of the workers would be imported since these are big business parks with a lot of high skill workers. These places are a wet dream for corporatocrats – industrial parks that they get to run completely, setting up their little undemocratic corporate-run statelets.

    • Maybe purpose is to indebt working population so they cannot move out.

      “People are free to come and go” becames “people are free to leave right after they pay their debts” which are, of course, impossible to pay.

      Debt slavery

  4. I’m inclined to name the ideological/geographic combined territories that could form the austrian utopia Tarzania. This is a homage to the lord of the jungle/king of the apes who pretty much just had to beat on his chest to assert his authority over nature and any interlopers to the escarpment. Hell, as I remember Tarzan even taught the Nazis a hard lesson or two with sheer brawn, a herd of elephants and cheering chimpanzees.

  5. I owe my soul to the company store

  6. Aren’t these proposed “cities” just ideological extensions of the legal framework of BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) in the US? What are BIDs? Excerpts from BIDs influence in Occupy Oakland:

    “BIDs are commercial districts within cities where special taxes are collected on properties for use towards activities determined by the BID’s board of directors. As hybrid public-private entities, their explicit purpose is to increase property values and rents and to cultivate other profitable opportunities in designated geographic areas.

    Because they have the power to levy and spend taxes, BIDs must be formed via a petition process and then by majority vote of businesses and property owners within the chosen area and finally approved by the City Council. However, once the BID is established, it largely operates under its own discretion. It does what it wants with its money, which can involve funding events, contracting for extra sanitation and trash services, and even hiring private security to patrol public space. […]

    BIDs began to emerge nationally in the 1970s as vehicles for gentrification and the militarization of urban space. Laws enabling the incorporation of these districts have spread to nearly every state, and most major U.S. cities contain multiple special districts run mostly by real estate developers and large tourism and entertainment companies, with smaller businesses – restaurants and retailers – as junior partners. BIDs especially took off in the 1990s as real estate capital focused its energy on urban zones from which it had previously divested. […]

    The transition New City America and similar consultants are promoting – the neoliberal urban shift – ultimately boils down to the privatization of public space and the elimination of democratic politics from city budgeting and services. In the words of New City America:

    ‘The business district must be seen as a product to be defined, marketed and sold to a target audience. A business district, just as a business product, is subject to the laws of supply and demand. The district must distinguish itself from other districts or malls because of its own unique assets and resources.'”

  7. In order to comment sensibly on the proposed Special Development Regions in Honduras, one must first have accurate information about them. While the media accounts in general have been misleading, Mr. Black’s views provide a new English-language benchmark for misleading analysis of this proposed project. At the link below, following an especially egregious analysis of my views by Mr. Black (which are similar to those that he states in the Al Jazeera video), I respond to some of his most extreme false claims,