Honduras Inaugurates First Female President

Madilynn Cook, Staff Writer

In January of this year, Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras’ first female president, within a political crisis that threatens her plans for the impoverished nation. Speaking at the ceremony, the leftist leader said she was taking the lead of a “broken” country – but vowed to pursue social justice.

Castro, who is 62, has promised to tackle powerful drug trafficking gangs and liberalize strict laws. But her agenda has been undermined by a feud in her Free Party. Xiomara Castro’s husband, Manuel Zelaya, ruled the country from 2006 until 2009, when he was ousted by a coup.

She ran for office twice in the years following her husband’s removal from power, before her victory in the election last November. Since then, Ms. Castro has enjoyed a wave of positivity when it comes to the public.

Castro’s arrival marks the end of the 12-year reign of the right-wing National Party, which has been plagued by scandals and corruption accusations. Thousands of people joined the inauguration ceremony at the national stadium in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

“The economic catastrophe that I’m inheriting is unparalleled in the history of our country,” she said in her speech, highlighting the need to restructure the national debt.

She also said, “My government will not continue the maelstrom of looting that has condemned generations of young people to pay the debt they incurred behind their back.”

US Vice-President Kamala Harris was among the foreign officials who attended the inauguration. The Biden administration hopes Castro will fight corruption, poverty, and violence, long-standing problems that have helped fuel illegal immigration from the Central American country to the US.

Rue Williams says “I hope this is a start for a new generation of women empowerment.”