Jan 29, 2013

Honduras: Failed State Auctions Off Lands and Subsoils

January 28, 2013

written by OFRANEH

(English translation from S Bartlett of Ag Missions)

The recent approval of the Mining Law and Special Development Regimens, the new disguised version of the law for the "Charter Cities" by the National Congress, is an indication of the collapse of the nation state, which has arrived at the point of auctioning the country off piece by piece to foreign investors.

Since the coup d'etat of 2009, the coup-implicated National Congress and their offspring have not ceased to create laws at the service of foreign capital to the detriment of the interests of the Honduran people. Since July of 2009, Honduras has become the epicenter for drug trafficking in the isthmus, while becoming the most violent country on the planet, with the deplorable condition of having almost no daylight visible between organized crime and the security apparatus of the state.

Surface Mining and Oil Exploitation at Sea

This past January 23, the National Congress approved a new Mining and Hydrocarbons Law, without taking into consideration the objections expressed by communities and by environmental organizations. Giving the green light to surface mining and in addition carte blanche to mining companies that are as powerful as nation states to participate directly in the use of these sources. As justification we find the laughably and shamefully small taxes that the Honduran state claims to charge for this, in addition to the questionable duration of the concessions to be granted.

Before approving this Mining and Hydrocarbon law, on December 11, 2012, Honduras signed a memorandum of understanding with the British company BG, for the exploration and subsequent exploitation of oil and natural gas on the continental shelf off the Moskitia territory of Honduras.

It is worth remembering the accident at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, the result of inappropriate management by British Petroleum and Halliburton. The BG has not avoided accidents either, such as what occurred last year on the Elgin Platform in the North Sea. The high economic and ecological cost of exploitation of hydrocarbons at sea seems not to cause any worry by the current administration, which above all else seeks funds to treat the current fiscal crisis that Honduras is going through.

The Charter Cities of the Mercenary Interventionists (Filibusteros) of the Caribbean

The sudden appearance of the U.S. economist Paul Romer on the national scene opened Honduras to the ghosts of colonialism. In the style of William Walker of the Gentlemen of the Golden Circle, groups of slavers from the south of the U.S. who sought to create new colonies in the Caribbean and Central America, Romero took advantage of the crisis following the 2009 coup to unite with the national power elite. The coup successor government accepted the idea of cutting slices of Honduran territory to consolidate "city states" which were copies of the fiscal paradises existing in Southeast Asia on the islands under British influence. The Law of Special Development Regions (RED), or Charter Cities, was declared unconstitutional last October by the Supreme Court of Justice, a decision that led to another coup by the National Congress who illegally removed the judges who voted against the neocolonial initiative.

That RED law that now goes by the name of Special Development Regimens was approved in a second debate this past 23 of January in the National Congress, ratifying the delivery of slices of national territory to capitalists from foreign countries.

Honduras as deliberate failed state

The coup of 2009 turned Honduras into a political, social and economic laboratory, with a view of learning from the lessons of Latin American countries afflicted with weak democracies, and also as a response of the empire to the strengthening of the ALBA (Bolivarian Latin American alliance), UNASUR and the CELAC.

The coup d'etat last June against Fernando Lugo in Paraguay was a repeat of the coup of Honduras. In the not too distant future, the Supreme Courts of the countries under the imperial yoke will end up being prisoners in gilded cages built by the legislators in tune with the orders and interests of the North.

In the meantime, Honduras succumbs to a demented level of violence with an average of 85 assassinations for every 100,000 inhabitants, at the same time that the Mexican drug traffickers control extensive areas of the country. Of course legal and illegal weapons proliferate and to make matters worse a replica of the Operation Fast and Furious promoted by the U.S. government called Operation Shipwreck has left hundreds of heavy arms in the hands of fearsome delinquents.

Honduras began the year with a government in moral and economic bankruptcy, in which even the mainstream media do not shy away from using the word "failed state." Of course such a condition was induced, as much by transnational corporations and those northern countries that historically lived from the pillage of their southern colonies.

Manual to Destroy Governments

Paul Romer in his first TED presentation said there was a need to write a Manual for creating Charter Cities for Idiots. Undoubtedly the Honduran Congress can contribute to the writing of a Manual for Destroying States and their Democracies. The first step is a coup d'etat that marginalizes all possible social forces that oppose the pillage of resources. The second step is the delivery over of the national territory to irregular security forces with enormous financial capital, such as the drug cartels. Then remove whatever residue that still exists for the administration of justice. And to bring about a happy ending for the neo colonialists, auction off the land and the subsoil.

What is missing is to see what the Honduran people have to say; they will have the last word.