The Washington Post

Xiomara Castro to be first female president


Democratic socialist Xiomara Castro is poised to become Honduras’s next president after her main rival conceded Tuesday, bringing the country’s left back to power after 12 years of conservati­ve National Party rule, much of it pockmarked by scandal.

Speaking on local television, Nasry Asfura congratula­ted Castro on her victory and referred to her as president-elect.

Castro, 62, will be the first female president of the Central American country. The wife of Manuel Zelaya, a former president who was removed from office by the military in 2009, Castro ran on an anti-corruption platform with promises to end what she deemed a narco-state.

She will succeed President Juan Orlando Hernández, whose last term in office was clouded by investigat­ions into his alleged ties to drug traffickin­g.

Honduras is now the biggest source of migration to the United States — a fact that critics blame partly on the Hernández administra­tion’s poor governance and an issue Castro will inherit.

“The Honduran people exercised their power to vote in a free and fair election,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday on Twitter. “We congratula­te them and President Elect @Xiomaracas­troz and look forward to working together to strengthen democratic institutio­ns, promote inclusive economic growth, and fight corruption.”

Castro has said she would prioritize migration in talks with the Biden administra­tion but has referred to it “as a social fact and as a right” — an outlook that seems to diverge from the U.S. focus on deterrence.

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