28 November 2021, Presidential candidate, Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento, won to become the first female President of Honduras. Xiomara Castro received close to 54% of the popular vote, beating out Nasry Asfura, of the incumbent National Party.
Xiomara Castro wins over a decade after her husband, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted from the Presidency in the 2009 coup d’etat. In the decade after the coup, she worked hard to restore democracy to Honduras. She led street-level protests against the Honduran Army. Her movement became known as the National Front of Popular Resistance and became the basis of her political party, the Libertad y Refundacion Party (Liberty and Refoundation Party), or Libre (Free) for short. The Libre party stands against the neo-liberal policies inflicted on Honduras. Xiomara Castro ran for President before in 2013, and as Vice President in the last election in 2017 when in alliance with the Innovation and Unity Party.
In the years since the coup, Honduras had experienced rising levels of poverty owing to neo-liberal and pro-American governments. The National Party, when in power, had been embroiled in many scandals. Afsura has been accused of money laundering, embezzlement of public funds.
Early polling put Afsura slightly ahead of Xiomara Castro, however with the leaking of Afsura’s name in the Pandora Papers last month, exposing his offshore accounts, Xiomara Castro’s chances surged ahead.
Xiomara Castro also promises to develop better ties with China and move away from the American shadow. This has caused some concern. The coup against her husband’s government, was in part motivated by his closeness to Venuzuela, and subsequent governments have kept a strict pro-American line.
Xiomara Castro ran on a platform of anti-corruption, anti-militarism and welfare. She promised to fight corruption by working with the United Nations to develop an independent, internationally monitored anti-corruption commission, modelled after the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala.