Xiomara Castro became the first female president of Honduras. She ran with the Libre Party, the party founded by her husband, José Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, not long after the coup d’état that ousted him from power in 2009. Castro promised a new future for Honduras after 12 years of National Party autocracy.
However, just a few months after taking office in January, the past has already cast a long shadow over the Castro administration. She pushed through an amnesty for allies of her husband accused of corruption, appointed former Zelaya officials to government positions, and placed several family members in key positions; provoking accusations of nepotism. Now an advisor to the president, Mel Zelaya is increasingly influential in the country’s politics.