Honduras once again passes 'model cities' law

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Associated Press

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 2:04 AM

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — The Honduran congress approved once again a "model cities" project that the country's Supreme Court had previously declared unconstitutional because it would create special development zones outside the jurisdiction of ordinary Honduran law.

Congressman Rodolfo Irias of the ruling National Party says the law "includes the necessary modifications" to answer concerns about unconstitutionality.

The vote was 110 to 13, with 5 abstentions.

The court's rejection of the plan led Congress to fire four of the court's five justices in December.

The plan would create "special development regions" with their own independent tax and justice systems, to spur economic growth in this Central American country struggling with corruption and crime.

The project was opposed by civic groups as well as the indigenous people.

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