Jan 28, 2022 - World

Xiomara Castro becomes Honduras' first female president

Photo of a masked Kamala Harris and Xiomara Castro walking in a hall while speaking, with aides trailing behind them

Honduran President Xiomara Castro and Vice President Kamala Harris walk through the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. Photo: Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Xiomara Castro was sworn in Thursday as the first female president of Honduras in a ceremony attended by world leaders including Vice President Harris.

The big picture: Castro, a leftist, has promised to tackle drug trafficking and ease the country's strict abortion ban. Her election ends the right-wing National Party's 12-year run, which was dogged by claims of corruption.

  • "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 said in her inaugural address, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Honduras is a key focus for the Biden administration, which has vowed to address the root causes driving migration to the U.S. border.

  • "In Castro, the first woman to lead Honduras, the administration believes America has found an ally who will help stem corruption in a region rife with government abuse and unethical excess," the Washington Post writes.
  • Ending political corruption will be key to bettering Hondurans' lives and convincing them to stay in their country instead of risking danger to reach the U.S., advisers to Harris told WashPost.
Go deeper