|First Lady of Honduras|
27 January 2006 – 28 June 2009
|Preceded by||Aguas Ocaña|
|Succeeded by||Siomara Girón|
Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento
September 30, 1959
Santa Bárbara, Honduras
|Political party||Libertad y Refundación|
Manuel Zelaya (m. 1976)
Iris Xiomara Castro de Zelaya or simply Xiomara Castro (born September 30, 1959) is a Honduran politician. She was a candidate for the 2013 presidential election representing the left-wing Libre Party. The wife of deposed former President Manuel Zelaya, Castro was a leader of the movement resisting the 2009 Honduran coup d'état that ousted her husband from power prematurely.
The second of five children, she attended primary and secondary school in Tegucigalpa at the San Jose del Carmen Institute and the Maria Auxiliadora Institute, respectively, and she earned a degree in Business Administration without attending university.
She played an active part in the "Association of Spouses of Members of the Rotary Club of Catacamas" as well as the activities developed within the group to take care of the children in need in the Olancho department. She took part in the creation of the "Centro de Cuidado Diurno para Niños en Catacamas" (Children's Daily Care Center in Catacamas), with the aim of offering assistance to single-parent families led by women including through the creation of projects of basic cleaning, sowing of vegetables and floriculture, as important projects of job development.
In Catacamas, Castro organized the women's branch of the Liberal Party of Honduras and conducted a strong campaign in favor of her husband in the internal elections of February 2005, an occasion in which she was in charge of sub-political coordination of Catacamas.
As First Lady of Honduras, Castro was in charge of social development programs, and she worked with the United Nations in coalition with other first ladies to address issues faced by women with HIV.
Following the removal of her husband in the June 28, 2009 coup d'état, Castro led the movement resisting the coup d'état, repeatedly joining thousands of Hondurans in the streets calling for Zelaya's return. This movement became known as the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) and formed the basis for the political party Libre. Castro joined her husband in the Brazilian embassy, where he had taken refuge after returning to Honduras before reaching a negotiation with the de facto regime.
2013 Presidential campaign
On July 1, 2012, Castro officially launched her presidential campaign at an event in the department of Santa Barbara. She then won her party's primary on November 18, 2012, and on June 16, 2013, Castro was officially chosen to represent Libre in the 2013 presidential election. Castro expressed opposition to neoliberalism and the militarization of society, and she campaigned for a constituent assembly to write a new constitution.
Leading up to the election, Castro was leading in the polls among all eight candidates during the months of March through October. However, in the final poll before the election, Castro fell to second place, behind the President of the National Congress, Juan Orlando Hernández of the National Party of Honduras. Castro and Hernández were widely seen as the two leading candidates going into the election. Castro came in second behind Hernández with 896,498 votes (28.78%) to Hernández's 1,149,302 (36.89%). Even though she didn't win the presidency, she was widely seen as provoking a rupture in Honduras's bipartite system, as the support for her Libre party eclipsed that of the Liberal Party, with Libre winning the second most seats in Congress.
2017 Presidential campaign
For the 2017 presidential election, Castro again sought to be Libre's nominee. She easily won the primary, but when Libre formed an alliance with the Innovation and Unity Party, she agreed to step aside and let Salvador Nasralla lead the alliance's presidential ticket.
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- "Candidata opositora Xiomara Castro denuncia 'robo' de su triunfo en Honduras" (in Spanish). La Nación. 28 November 2013.
- "Xiomara Castro, una política decidida a cambiar a Honduras" (in Spanish). El Heraldo. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
- "Xiomara Castro gana las primaris de Libre y apunta a la alianza" (in Spanish). El Heraldo. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
- Karen N. Reyes (21 May 2017). "Salvador Nasralla encabeza la alianza opositora" (in Spanish). HRN. Retrieved 2017-12-19.