Thursday, February 23, 2012

Model Cities Are Unconstitutional

Model cities, or Redes Especiales de Desarrollo (RED) as they are known in the law (decreto 238-2010) enabling them, are "an attempt on the form of government and national sovereignty," according to a report issued by the Public Prosecutor's office. In it, the Defender of the Constitution, Xiomara Osorio, reasoned that because the law contemplates changes in the form of government over these regions, the lawmakers committed treason against their country. As such, the law is unconstitutional.

The legal opinion of Public Prosecutors office, which is not binding, was in a report they filed with the Supreme Court as part of the appeal of this law. They are agreeing in this report with a group of lawyers who filed a legal challenge to the law in November 2011 and have asked the Supreme Court to overturn the law.

One commentator on the El Heraldo report, said "That they violated the constitution, how is this news? They [Congress] do that every day!"

El Tiempo ran an editorial Monday in which it pointed out how the report from the Prosecutor's office echoes the points raised in their own editorial on the subject published last June 30.

While this is not the death knell of Model Cities in Honduras, it is none-the-less a severe blow. It is now up to the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the Model Cities enabling legislation.

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