Honduras Has Officially Sworn In Their First Female President

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Honduras has officially sworn in its first female president. On Thursday, the inauguration of Xiomara Castro was celebrated in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Last year, the 62-year-old democratic socialist “won a landslide victory in last year's presidential election after campaigning on a radical agenda to counter years of governance plagued by corruption and scandal,” as per CNN. She garnered 1.7 million votes, the largest number in the country’s history. As part of her campaign, Castro promised to help those living in poverty and even addressed the current economic situation Honduras is in during her inauguration speech.

"The economic catastrophe that I'm inheriting is unparalleled in the history of our country," she said, emphasizing the need to fix the national debt. “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."

Castro’s speech, which was given in front of thousands, also stressed the significance of the moment: "Two hundred years have passed since our independence was proclaimed. We're breaking chains and we're breaking traditions.”

A mother of four, Castro is married to businessman and politician Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya was president of Honduras himself from 2006 until June 2009, when he was overthrown in a military coup and forced into exile in Costa Rica. Castro, who was a key figure in the movement resisting the coup d'état, went on to feed her own ambitions for presidential office beginning in 2012. She previously ran for president in both 2013 and 2017.

Amid her first week as president of Honduras, Castro met with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss deepening the United States and Honduras “cooperation across a broad range of issues, including addressing the root causes of migration, combating corruption, and expanding economic opportunity,” says the White House. Harris apparently “welcomed President Castro’s focus on countering corruption and impunity, including her intent to request the assistance of the United Nations in establishing an international anti-corruption commission and commitment to advancing necessary legislative reforms to enable such a commission to succeed.”  They also discussed how their two respective countries “can work together to promote an equitable and inclusive economic recovery by stimulating economic growth and creation of good jobs.” 

Tags: Women's History

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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