AMERICA/HONDURAS - The Bishop of La Ceiba on the Zedes: "let's defend the common good, let's defend territorial sovereignty and our values"

Monday, 21 June 2021 economy   social situation   human rights   local churches  


La Ceiba (Agenzia Fides) - The project for the establishment of the "Work and Development Areas", Zede in Spanish (Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo Económico), which affects several regions of Honduras, but above all the departments of Atlántida and Islas de la Bahía, appears to be illegal and unconstitutional since its inception, according to the diocese of La Ceiba. The statement, signed by Bishop Michael Lenihan, O.F.M., was read during a press conference on June 18. The Zedes, according to the Catholic Church and others, seek to transform the political and social life of the area, influencing the sovereignty of Honduras. The idea for the project was born a few years ago, with the aim of making the economy grow in the area such as in Asia, but in Honduras there are no basis to start such a project. The specialized press that follows the continent's economy had already informed about the project in 2011 and 2012, highlighting the characteristic of unconstitutionality for Honduras, an aspect that was temporarily resolved in 2013 through the reform of the Constitution. ZEDES are conceived as a state within another state, a country within another, which needs a reference country to be managed. In the case of Honduras, the autonomous territory would be administered by a Technical Secretary appointed by the President of Honduras. Analysts denounce the fact that in this way a democratic country renounces its sovereignty. The diocese of Ceuta has become the interpreter of popular sentiment, and in the statement released we read: "Given the social alarm and popular clamor that this project has raised, we express ourselves in the following terms: the model cities were proposed and the project was declared unconstitutional by the magistrates of the Constitutional Hall of the Supreme Court of Justice right from the beginning". The Bishop invites the population to act: "To all the people of our Diocese of La Ceiba we say: we defend the common good of all in an inclusive way, we defend territorial sovereignty and our values, we defend justice based on fair laws and authentic application of the Constitution of the Republic.
This is why we say 'No to ZEDES' in our territory and we ask the authorities to seek other forms of development that are fair for all".
On the afternoon of Saturday, June 19, a meeting was scheduled in front of the municipality of La Ceiba to demonstrate the position of the population on the project, but it was canceled by the mayor following the chaos created by the groups present that prevented any form of dialogue. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 21/6/2021)