Who is Xiomara Castro? The new President of Honduras
She was First Lady, twice a candidate and now the first female president in the history of the Central American country.
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After a slow counting of votes, but with her rival Nasry Asfura conceding, Xiomara Castro, a First Lady between 2006 and 2009, became the first female president in the history of Honduras.
¡Gracias pueblo! Revertimos 12 años de lágrimas y de dolor en alegría. El sacrificio de nuestros mártires no fue en vano. Iniciaremos una era de prosperidad de solidaridad por medio del diálogo con todos los sectores, sin discriminación y sin sectarismo.— Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (@XiomaraCastroZ) November 29, 2021
Castro, who returns to power in the Central American country after 12 years, becomes president at a difficult moment for the nation, which is going through the continued crisis of the pandemic and mass migration while also facing allegations of drug trafficking and corruption against outgoing president Juan Orlando Hernández, whose brother was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States on drug trafficking charges.
The graduate in Business Administration was born in 1959 and at age 16 she married her cousin Manuel Zelaya, with whom she became known in the national political sphere. Zelaya became president more than 10 years ago.
After Zelaya fell to a coup in July 2009, today, the new president actively led the movement that asked for the restitution of her husband to power. She also became most visible face of the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP).
Amid her husband's defense, Castro began to be seen by her political opponents as a figure to take into account during the elections. In 2012, she launched her first presidential bid, losing to outgoing president Juan Orlando Hernández. He prevailed again in 2017.
After being one of the biggest critics of the last electoral process, Castro announced her renewed presidential aspirations at the end of 2020. Her talking points were drug trafficking and the corruption of the outgoing administration.
The first woman to occupy the most important public office in Honduras also accused by her opponents of wanting to bring communism to the Central American country. She will be sworn in on Jan. 27, 2022.
Nasry Asfura Zablah, Candidato del PN, acepta la voluntad del pueblo, reconoce la victoria de Libre en alianza, y mi triunfo como Presidenta electa de HN. ¡Gracias!— Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (@XiomaraCastroZ) December 1, 2021
¡Pueblo, no te voy a fallar! Con mis promesas retornaremos al orden democrático. pic.twitter.com/CN66kTcI5T
With proposals that would reform several laws passed under the previous administration and a Constituent Assembly, Castro also joined the opposition to National Union of Honduras and its leader, Salvador Nasralla, became the new vice president of the country.
Castro assumes the power in a country with the greatest levels of crime and poverty on the continent, putting an end to 12 years of conservative management and giving it back the power to the left.
"We are going to form a government of reconciliation, peace and justice. We will start a process to guarantee a participatory democracy, a direct democracy," said Castro as her victory became imminent.
The Honduran people exercised their power to vote in a free and fair election. We congratulate them and President Elect @XiomaraCastroZ and look forward to working together to strengthen democratic institutions, promote inclusive economic growth, and fight corruption.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) December 1, 2021