Xiomara Castro inaugurated as first female President of Honduras

Photo by eldiario.es

28th January 2022

Yesterday, Xiomara Castro was sworn in as the first female President of Honduras at a “packed” inauguration ceremony at the National Stadium in the capital of Tegucigalpa. Exactly two months prior, Castro — the leader of the left-wing Libre Party and wife of former President Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009) — defeated Nasry Asfura — the Mayor of Tegucigalpa and nominee of the Nacional Party to succeed term-limited incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández — by a 20% margin. At the ceremony, which was attended by foreign dignitaries — including King Felipe of Spain, US Vice President Kamala Harris, and the British Ambassador who came bearing a congratulatory note from the Queen — Castro pledged to fight crime and state corruption, seek a restructuring of the national debt, and “immediately give free electricity” to over a million of the country’s “poorest” citizens with the “bigger consumers subsidising the cost.” Within hours of his leaving office, Hernández — who has been dogged by allegations of kleptocracy throughout his tenure — took a seat in the Central American Parliament (a regional body that heads of state are automatically inducted into upon finishing their terms), which grants him immunity from prosecution in the region and may also protect him from being extradited to the US on drugs charges. The possibility of that happening was widely speculated after his party lost the election. Hernández’s brother was sentenced to life in prison in a US court last year after being found guilty of narcotics trafficking.