Honduras: halftone assessment of President Xiomara Castro

Elected in January 2022, the leftist leader had promised to “refound” a state gangrenized by organized crime and corruption.

by Angeline Montoya

On January 27, 2022, Xiomara Castro became the first woman in Honduras to occupy the presidential chair. The left returned to power after twelve years of government of the National Party (PN, right), marked by electoral fraud and the infiltration of the crime organized in the State. This complicity was illustrated by the extradition in the United States of ex-President Juan Orlando Hernandez (2014-2022) and by life sentence, by a court in New York, of his brother Tony, both for drug traffic. “The leaders of the National Party and certain sectors of the armed forces and the police have made the country one of the most powerful drug cartels in the region, the current vice-minister of business minister. foreign. The public apparatus was mainly devoted to criminal activities. “

That is to say if the expectations were strong of a radical change, especially since Honduras has seriously suffered from the joint effects of the pandemic, hurricanes and war in Ukraine, with an inflation of almost 10 % , a record rate (73 % of the population) record for twenty years and the explosion of migration to the United States. M Castro had promised to “refound” the nation against the mafias and organized crime. A year later, what about?

“The assessment is mixed, but, with regard to the fight against corruption, the model based on conflicts of interest and favoritism has not changed much,” says César Espinal, coordinator of the observatory of criminal policy of the National Anti -Corruption Center (CNA), an independent NGO. Xiomara Castro had asked for patience, believing that going from an authoritarian regime – at the head of a “narco -state”, according to American justice – a democratic regime takes time. According to a CID Gallup survey of January, 55 % of citizens still approve of the management of the president. But, “a year later, the Hondurians no longer accept the catastrophic legacy of Juan Orlando Hernandez, and they expect more concrete actions,” said journalist Thelma Mejia Lopez, founder of the Committee for Freedom of Expression.

controversial amnesty

The president’s main success was to sign, on December 15, 2022, a memorandum agree with the UN for the creation of an international commission against impunity in Honduras (Cicih), in the manner of What had been made, with success, in Guatemala, between 2006 and 2019. Very ambitious, the text gives this organization the possibility of indicting, regardless of the public prosecutor, a crucial point while the judicial system is itself corrupt and ineffective. “This is a first step, but the process is far too slow, regrets César Espinal. The Cicih will not be in place until 2024 at the earliest.” The General Assembly and the UN Security Council as well as The Hondurian Congress must first approve it. And Xiomara Castro, elected from the Liberty and Refoundation Party (free), has not had an obvious majority since the Salvador Party of Honduras (PSH) broke the alliance formed in 2021 with free to win the presidential election.

You have 61.87% of this article to read. The continuation is reserved for subscribers.

/Media reports cited above.