Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeSeriesVozVoz IIII | Xiomara Castro: the first 100 days

Voz IIII | Xiomara Castro: the first 100 days

Honduras’ first female president, Xiomara Castro, continues to fail women. This won't stop activists from demanding women's rights



When Honduras’ first female president Xiomara Castro rose to power under a feminist agenda, women all over the country were filled with hope. But a hundred days into her government, with not a single change introduced that benefits women, pressure is mounting for Castro to fulfil her promises.

Vienna Herrera, an investigative multimedia journalist with Honduran digital media outlet Contracorriente focuses on gender issues, sexual and reproductive rights, extractivism, the environment, and power structures.

Vienna has reported on women’s rights issues for many years. She was part of the team who worked on the Gabo Award-winning special feature ‘Tierra de resistentes’, which documented organized threats against environmental activists. She also participated in transnational features like ‘Estación del Silencio’ with El Salvador’s El Faro, about Mesoamerican violence against women, and ‘Interrupción del embarazo, la deuda de Centroamérica con las mujeres’, led by Agencia Ocote of Guatemala in collaboration with six Central American media outlets. Her other work includes ‘Las muertes evitables’, a feature on maternal mortality during the pandemic in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

For Voz IIII, she turns to her home country Honduras to look at the shortcomings of Xiomara Castro’s first 100 days in office and the lack of action on women’s rights issues – a fight close to her heart.

When Xiomara Castro was announced the winner of the Honduran presidential elections in November 2021, I had spent the past four years writing about violence against Honduran women and our reproductive rights. I covered stories that really broke me, where the patterns of impunity were clear and I had to cope with accompanying families of femicide victims and listening to women who have survived femicide attempts and sexual assaults. I allowed myself  a moment’s respite.

Xiomara Castro is the first female president, and she’s come to power promising a feminist agenda, a government plan that includes the decriminalization of abortion on three grounds, and allows the legal distribution of contraceptives and the morning after pill, prohibited in Honduras since 2009.

‘Women, I will not let you down’, she repeated in every campaign speech. And it was with this same phrase that she closed her inauguration ceremony on 27 January. The joy of many women from the feminist movement present that day was evident, as green handkerchiefs appeared among the Honduran national flags and the red flags of Castro’s Libertad y Refundación (Liberty and Refoundation) party.

Vilma Chandía Guzman de 74 años, ondea una bandera de la candidatura de Xiomara Castro a la presidencia del país, ella y su hermana llegaron hasta la sede del Partido Libre para celebrar el triunfo de la candidata de Libertad y Refundación. Tegucigalpa, 29 de noviembre de 2021. Foto: Martín Cálix.
Vilma Chandía Guzman, 74 years old, waves a flag in support of Xiomara Castro’s presidency. She and her sister attended the Libre Party headquarters to celebrate the victory of the Libertad y Refundación candidate. Tegucigalpa, November 29, 2021. Photo: Martín Cálix / Contracorriente.

To read this article, please sign up to our Patreon with a pledge of £3.50 or more. Both LAB Subscriber and Friend of LAB membership levels give you access to LAB’s Quarterly Dispatch, Voz, as well as news, books, podcasts and videos on Latin America.

A huge thanks to all those who have signed up so far and to those donating. As most of you know, LAB is desperately in need of funding to keep our work going so your kind support is much appreciated.

Like this post? Take a second to support LAB on Patreon