Weekly Report - 03 February 2022 (WR-22-05)

HONDURAS: Castro ushers in new era amid immediate constraints

Xiomara Castro, of the leftist Partido Libertad y Refundación (Libre), was inaugurated as Honduras’s first female president on 27 January, ending 12 years of rule by the conservative Partido Nacional (PN). While Castro won by a landslide in the November election [WR-21-48], her ability to push through legislative changes is currently hobbled by the institutional crisis stemming from the election of rival congress presidents following a rebellion by 18 Libre deputies (since expelled from the party) [WR-22-04]. Addressing this crisis is an immediate priority ahead of the longer-term challenges of combating poverty (which Castro put at 74% of the population), corruption (her predecessor Juan Orlando Hernández [2014-2022] has been implicated in drug-related allegations in the US, and his government accused of major backsliding in anti-corruption efforts), and what Castro described as unsustainable debt levels.

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