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Xiomara Castro, New President of Honduras
Twelve years ago, her husband was overthrown in a coup. Photo: @brunorguezp.

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.

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 story of the new president

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.

Castro's rematch

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. 

Alliances and Agenda

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.

The new president also promised to repeal the economic development zones, territories where investors have expanded powers. Castro was also shown in favor of strengthening social programs, legalizing abortion and expanding trade relations with China.

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.

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