Castro calls on opponents to join forces to rebuild the rule of law in Honduras

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Honduran President Xiomara Castro asked the political opposition of her country represented in Parliament on Thursday to join her to rebuild the rule of law and stressed that Honduras is the poorest and most unequal state in Latin America.

I extend my hand to a Honduran, although our ideologies may differ, our love for the homeland is one and must unite us in an unwavering way. I invite you to be part of this collective effort and not as adversaries, but as workers and with the task of rebuilding the rule of law,” Castro emphasized in his occasional speech during the start of the third session of the Honduran Parliament.

The president summarized the achievements that she said her Government achieved in 2023, among which she highlighted, at the international level, the establishment of diplomatic and trade relations with China and an agreement with China to improve thousands of Honduran educational centers in poor condition.

He also pointed out that Honduras is “at a unique and critical time in our history, a moment where recasting is not a slogan, but a mandatory imperative,” and that the Honduran people have been beaten for years by neoliberal policies and punished for violence and corruption.

Honduras switched from transit country to drug producer

Castro listed some of his achievements in 2023 in the areas of education, health, energy, economic growth, the fight against corruption and progress in his country to set up an international mission to combat corruption and impunity, with the support of the United Nations, although on the latter point some sectors consider that this will not happen because there is no will in Parliament to make some reforms.

In the area of drug trafficking, he stressed that in twelve years (governed by the now opposition National Party), Honduras went from a country of drug transit, to a country that is a drug-producing country.

In 2023 we have eradicated more than three million coca plants, (seized) 570 kilos of cocaine and 740 kilos of fentanyl, he added.

Castro’s call for unity comes as he is close to serving his first two years, four years in office, in a 2024 that will be a political year and began with the announcement of the launch of former Finance Minister Rixi Moncada, as presidential pre-candidate for the ruling Freedom and Refoundation Party (Free) for the November 2025 general elections.

At the installation of the third session of Parliament, they also presented their report on the enforcement officials in 2023, the heads of the Supreme Court of Justice, Rebeca Ráquel Obando, and the legislative branch, Luis Redondo.

Due to the lack of consensus and dialogue in the Honduran Parliament, it was not possible, at the end of August 2023, to elect the new Attorney-General ' s attorney general and deputy prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor ' s Office, who had to assume on 1 September.

The situation reached the extent that Parliament spent four and a half months without holding sessions, although on 1 November Luis Redondo formed a Standing Committee, with nine of the 128 deputies who make up the Legislative, which on the same day elected as new Attorney General and Deputy, Interim, Johel Zelaya and Mario Morazán, who are not recognized by the main opposition forces.

According to the law, the two prosecutors must be elected by a qualified majority of 86 of the 128 deputies of Parliament, in which Libre only adds 50 votes.

Xiomara Castro, Honduras’ first woman president, took office on January 27, 2022, replacing Juan Orlando Hernández, who ruled for eight years, the last four through re-election by violating the Constitution. In April of that same year Hernandez was extradited to the United States, where he faces a drug trial.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Hondudiario