Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
A few weeks ago, I argued that the long-term solution to the United States’ immigration problem is for Latin America become a place worth living in. While Latin Americans are both ultimately responsible for their situation and the only ones capable of fixing it, I suggested that we may be able to offer some help around the edges.
Lo and behold, some folks are trying to do that in an incredibly ambitious way: by attempting to carve out semi-autonomous, privately-run areas within Honduras called ZEDEs. Though required to abide by Honduran law, ZEDEs will be able to set their own local rules, maintain their own police forces, and run their own courts through a collaboration between private corporations and local citizens. The objective — besides making money — is to create model free cities that can be emulated outside the ZEDEs.
Reason recently sent a film crew to Honduras and shot a series of four five-minute documentaries on ZEDEs. Take a watch when you have a few minutes:
Again, wildly ambitious and not without its risks. One of the architects of the project pulled out over concerns that the laws authorizing the ZEDEs had too few transparency requirements (though there may be some personal grievance operating in his decision, too). Honduras may also prove to be too much of a mess for the ZEDEs to succeed, and it’s worth noting that a private enterprise with all the powers of a state is prone to the same temptations as one. The project might fail and free-market capitalism might — rightly or wrongly — get the blame.