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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Castro becomes Honduras’ first female president

By Bren Belmonte | Staff Writer

HISTORIC FIRSTS  Xiomara Castro, the first female president of Honduras, speaks to supporters after her landmark presidential win.

  Xiomara Castro became the first female president of Honduras on Jan. 27. Her inauguration was in Honduras’ capital of Tegucigalpa. 

   In last year’s presidential election, Castro, a democratic socialist from the left-wing Libre party, won by a landslide. The sixty-two-year-old president won 51% of the votes, with 1.7 million votes cast in her favor while runner-up candidate Nasry Asfura had 33%.

   Castro has prioritized rebuilding Honduras with the security of its citizens in mind, especially by tackling the corruption and drug trafficking within the country. She has promised to lead improvement in health care, education, and job opportunities.

   “We are committed…to [laying] the foundations of a head-on-battle against corruption,” stated Castro, the former first lady of Honduras, in her inauguration speech.”…So that these facts, that have shamed us, will never be repeated.”

   Castro previously ran for the left-wing party in the Honduran general elections of 2013, 2017, and 2021. She ran for president in 2014 and again in 2021, as well as vice president in 2017 as Salvador Nasralla’s running mate.

   President Castro’s inauguration brings an end to former president Juan Orlando Hernandez’s eight-year leadership of the conservative National Party of Honduras. He has been charged with corruption and drug trafficking in U.S. courts, which he denies. 

   “This will be the first time in twelve years that the right-wing national party has not held power [in Honduras],” stated BBC reporter Kasia Madera.

   Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris was an attendee at the inauguration and had a private conference with Castro. Harris spoke to the newly inaugurated president in a bilateral meeting. 

   “We are pledging $1.35 million to help you upgrade the health and educational facilities of this country [to support Honduras’] health and education priorities,” stated Harris, according to The White House website. 

     Honduras has previously had issues with poverty and a weak economy, but many Hondurans are optimistic and see Castro’s presidency as a way for the country to move forward from a difficult chapter. 

  The election of the first female president has been “quite unprecedented here in this country, this society where there is a lot of sexism,” said a Honduran citizen to BBC News, “To have a woman president would be a great way to move forward as a society.” 

   The high voter turnout resulted in a fairly calm election, however, there were some issues. At some locations, there were problems with the electoral roll and disagreements about when the polls should shut. 

   A fistfight broke out in Honduras’ National Congress on Jan. 21. Castro’s choice for speaker of the House of Representatives caused a split in the newly elected congress. 

   Castro is married to former Honduras president and businessman Manuel Zelaya. She married at the age of nineteen, had a household of four children, and managed her husband’s business.

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Castro becomes Honduras’ first female president