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The building of a “model city” in Choluteca, Honduras, is threatening to displace 35 Garifuna communities, giving continuity to a policy of territorial sell-out started during Porfirio Lobo´s de facto regime that took over after the ousting of Jose Manuel Zelaya in the coup d´etat staged in 2009.
The general coordinator of the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH), Miriam Miranda, said that model cities would also serve to create tax havens and promote money laundering.
Miranda highlighted that after the coup d´etat in Honduras, a process was launched to sell common lands and natural resources to the transnational capital, and there have been many strategies implemented to sell out the resources of the country.
In a radio show broadcasted by Radio del Sur, Miriam said that the Honduran government is risking 70% of the Garifuna territory with the building of model cities. She also pointed out that the passing of the laws that create these duty-free areas caused a second technical coup d´Etat with the removal of the lawyers that rejected this regulation in the Honduran Constitutional Court due to its unconstitutional nature.
“We strongly reject model cities, since the population wasn´t consulted about them. This means to create a State within another one, i.e. transnational corporations are granted all capacities to generate their own control system, even security, and the worst thing is that the State is losing control within these model cities”, said Miranda.
In this way, she said that with “model cities”, Honduras would be sold out to Canadian investors with over 370 mining concessions. OFRANEH´s general coordinator said that it is necessary to pass a law to assure the communities that their human rights and the integrity of indigenous peoples won´t be violated.
Finally, she announced that on February 27 there will be different activities to raise awareness about the danger this project represents and to demand a national consultation in indigenous territory.
“No queremos ser mártires, no queremos que hayan más mártires en este país, pero también hay una responsabilidad histórica de hacer valer la palabra y demostrar que tenemos derecho a la construcción de un mundo mejor. Y no podemos huir a esa responsabilidad”, dijo a Radio Mundo Real la dirigente garífuna Miriam Miranda, coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH).
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