Spanish from the official document. Unofficial English Translation by Teresa Aguilar.
Original document can be found at: ZEDE-Normativa-002-2020.pdf
There as yet appears to be no English translation of ZEDE Legislation No. 00 002-2020 the granted authoritative status by the Republic of Honduras. When and if one appears, it will likely do so at the official ZEDE website, here: https://www.zede.hn/. In the meantime, this unofficial translation offers the public an English version of the ZEDE Legislation No. 00 002-2020.
ZEDE LEGISLATION NO. 00 002-2020
THE PERMANENT COMMISSION OF THE COMMITTEE FOR ADOPTION OF BEST PRACTICES (CAMP),
WHEREAS: An essential attribute of the sovereignty of a State is its right to expropriate any property for public use within its borders.
WHEREAS: The articles 103, 104, 105, and 106 of the Constitution of the Republic, and 21 of the American Convention on Human Rights establish the parameters, limits, and conditions of the right to expropriate that correspond to the State of Honduras through its competent bodies.
WHEREAS: The Organic Law of the Zones of Employment and Economic Development (ZEDE) reserves for the State of Honduras its sovereign and constitutional right to expropriate any properties for public use within its borders in its articles 25, 26, and 28.
WHEREAS: Notwithstanding the above, the special regime of the Zones of Employment and Economic Development (ZEDE) seeks to ensure respect to the rights and guarantees contained in the Constitution of the Republic and the International Treaties Honduras forms part of as a primary objective.
WHEREAS: Both, the Constitution of the Republic in its articles 103, 104, 105 and 106, as well as the American Convention on Human Rights in its Article 21, guarantee the right to private property without any limitations other than those grounded in public interest.
WHEREAS: The numeral 1) in Article 11 of the Organic Law of the ZEDEs confers upon the CAMP the power to approve its internal legislation.
WHEREAS: The numeral 4) in Article 11 of the Organic Law of the ZEDEs confers upon the CAMP the power to establish the general guidelines for the internal policy and transparency of the ZEDEs.
WHEREAS: The numeral 5) in Article 11 of the Organic Law of the ZEDE confers upon the CAMP the power to approve or disapprove the legislation approved by a Technical Secretary.
WHEREAS: The necessary powers to issue this policy have been conferred upon the Permanent Commission by the CAMP.
APPROVES THE FOLLOWING LEGISLATION:
Legislation to Regulate the Provisions Relating to the Faculty of Expropriation Contained in Articles 25, 26 and 28 of the Organic Law of the Zones of Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs)
Article 1.- This legislation constitutes a general policy guideline applicable to both, the Zones of Economic Development and Employment authorized to date and to the ones to be authorized in the future. It is approved in accordance with the numeral 4 of Article 11 of the Organic Law of the Zones of Employment.
Article 2.- The right of expropriation corresponds exclusively to the State of Honduras through its competent bodies and in accordance with the parameters, limits, and conditions established in articles 103, 104, 105 and 106 of the Constitution of the Republic and article 21 of the American Convention on Human Rights, including the previous just indemnification. No ZEDE has the power to perform expropriations by itself in areas outside the spatial ambit of competence authorized in accordance with the limits established in the deed of incorporation and the plan accompanied to it.
Article 3.- The disposition contained in article 25 of the Organic Law relative to the State capacity to expropriate land does not grant the Technical Secretaries or any other authority of the Zones of Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs) the power to expropriate land of a private nature in unilateral manner. These expropriations can only be carried out by the competent State bodies, and must be subject to the provisions in the Constitution of the Republic and the laws in force that govern expropriation issues for infrastructure megaprojects. The Committee for the Adoption of Better Practices (CAMP) will not admit projects to be developed on expropriated land, unless they have the following conditions:
(i) Projects whose owner is the State of Honduras or in which the State has a participation at least 50%.
(ii) The value of the project in the development of the surrounding communities is fully demonstrated by an exhaustive cost-benefit analysis.
(iii) The opportunity has been granted to the owner(s) of the land to incorporate them as a voluntary partner in the project.
(iv) The owner's right to due process has been respected.
(v) There have been neither settled communities, people living permanently, or businesses operating on the lands intended for expropriation, nor evictions of legitimate owners of the before mentioned properties.
(vi) The indemnification has been previously paid or consigned, and there are no conflicts regarding the amount of the compensation.
(vii) It is reliably demonstrated that alternatives to the expropriation were analyzed, and that if the expropriation is not done, the project could not be carried out.
Article 4.- The faculty to incorporate lands for expansion of the spatial ambit of a ZEDE contained in article 28 does not give the Technical Secretaries or any other authority of the ZEDE regime the power to declare them as incorporated. Such declaration can only be made by the competent bodies of the State of Honduras and must be subject to the provisions in the Constitution of the Republic and the current laws about expropriation for infrastructure megaprojects as well as the conditions established in the previous article of this legislation.
The CAMP will only admit the incorporation of expropriated lands for purposes of expansion of the spatial ambit of competence of a ZEDE when the developer of such is the State and there are no human settlements at the time of the expropriation. The incorporation of the lands on which there has been an eviction of legitimate proprietors will not be admitted either.
Article 5.- It is declared that the interpretation of the CAMP of the Organic Law for the ZEDEs will be guided by the fact that the ZEDEs do not have unilateral authority to expropriate outside of their spatial ambit with the purpose to expand its territory.
Article 6.- The authority of the Technical Secretary of a Zone of Employment and Economic Development (ZEDE) includes only those lands or plots located within its spatial ambit of competence, and is subject to the limitations established in the Constitution of the Republic, the international treaties Honduras is a part of, and its internal legislation.
It is permanent policy of the Committee for Adoption of Best Practices (CAMP) is not to approve any norm or action of a Technical Secretary that intends to carry out the expropriation of a property with the end goal to expand the spatial ambit of competence of the Zone of Employment and Economic Development (ZEDE) that is represented in virtue of the limitation established in the previous paragraph.
Article 7.- With respect to any internal exercise of the faculty of expropriation, the Committee for Adoption of Best Practices (CAMP) adopts a permanent policy not to approve any act of expropriation by a Technical Secretary, unless:
(i) The said expropriation is absolutely necessary for the construction of a project of clearly defined public benefit.
(ii) There is no viable alternative for the construction of the specific infrastructure project.
(iii) It has not been possible to reach an agreement with the owner and the lack of it prevents the construction work.
(iv) The owner's right to due process has been respected.
(v) The amount of land necessary to allow the construction is limited, and if there are houses, housing of equal or better condition will be provided to their owners in an alternative place that meets conditions similar to the original.
(vi) The compensation should be given ahead of time, and should be fast, adequate and effective. This includes that indemnification should be at least equal to the market value of the property, which will be determined on the basis of recent property sales prices in nearby or comparable locations prior to the announcement of the construction work.
(vii) The cadastral value of an asset will not be used as a basis to determine its market value.
Given in the city of Tegucigalpa, Municipality of the Central District, on the 24th day of September 2020.
Committee for Adoption of Best Practices (CAMP)