While it is true that Latin America still has a long way to go in many aspects, the region has been a pioneer in electing women to the highest executive office. From Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in Nicaragua in 1990 to Michelle Bachelet in Chile (2006 to 2010, then 2014 to 2018), nine women have presided over a country in the region.
Now, the candidate of the Partido Libre of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, joins the list of women presidents in Latin America.
As of early Monday, Castro’s wide lead held with more than 54% of the vote and 40% of the ballots counted, thanks to a candidacy favored by a wave of discontent with the conservative National Party government, which has been in power for 12 uninterrupted years, NBC News explained.
“Today, the people have obtained justice. We have reversed authoritarianism,” Castro said after the first results were announced.
Early Monday, Xiomara Castro’s initial wide lead was holding. According to the National Electoral Council’s preliminary tally, with 51% of the polling stations counted, Castro had 53% of the vote and Asfura 33%. With more than 1.8 million votes counted, Castro had a margin of more than 350,000 votes. The Council said turnout was over 68%.
¡Gracias pueblo! Revertimos 12 años de lágrimas y de dolor en alegría. El sacrificio de nuestros mártires no fue en vano. Iniciaremos una era de prosperidad de solidaridad por medio del diálogo con todos los sectores, sin discriminación y sin sectarismo. 🇭🇳 ❤️
— Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (@XiomaraCastroZ) November 29, 2021
Castro’s victory is a testament to the famous saying, “third time’s the charm.” The leftist Honduran politician has represented the Partido Libre in 2013, 2017, and 2021 general elections, running for president in 2013 and 2021, and for Vice President of Honduras as Salvador Nasralla’s running mate in 2017.
However, her entry into political life was hand in hand with her husband and former president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009).
Following her husband’s ouster in the June 28, 2009 coup d’état, Xiomara Castro led the coup resistance movement, repeatedly joining thousands of Hondurans in the streets calling for Zelaya’s return.
Her foray into the presidential race was pivotal in Honduras’ political history after her 2013 candidacy broke with the country’s historic bipartisanship thanks to the support for her Partido Libre eclipsing that of the Liberal Party with Libre being the second party with the most seats in Congress.
Eight years later, and with a turnout 10 points higher than in 2017, Castro’s vision and knowledge of the political arena has paid off, making her the new and first female president of Honduras.