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Dilma Rousseff: the 'iron lady' battling for survival

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By Euronews
Dilma Rousseff: the 'iron lady' battling for survival

<p>Dilma Rousseff was first sworn in as the first female president of Latin America’s biggest economy in January 2011.</p> <p>She won an election run-off on the back of a booming economy and the backing of her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. </p> <h3>The rise of Rousseff</h3> <p>Rousseff was born into a middle-class family in 1947. The daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant, she went on to study economics. </p> <p>She later joined a radical leftist resistance group after a coup in the mid 60s gave rise to a military dictatorship. </p> <p>Rousseff was captured and jailed for three years on subversion charges. </p> <h3>Rousseff’s political breakthrough</h3> <p>Her political breakthrough came when she was energy minister, wowing Lula with her management and technical skills.</p> <p>Becoming his chief of staff, she was dubbed the iron lady for her demanding style. Rousseff took charge of several infrastructure projects.</p> <p>She also chaired the board of directors of state-owned oil company Petrobras.</p> <p>During her first term as president, Brazil’s economic boom began to crumble. </p> <h3>Protests erupt</h3> <p>In June 2013, public anger spills out onto the streets in Rio and Brasilia. Protesters vent their anger over poor public services.</p> <p>In 2014, Rousseff seals a second term in office – by only just, with a slim majority. She overcame the protests against her and the fears over the sluggish economy. </p> <p>And then there is political crisis that threatens to topple Rousseff. </p> <h3>Rousseff flies into storm</h3> <p>Lula is questioned as part of a graft probe, centred on the state oil company Petrobras – his political foundations in Brazil are rocked.</p> <p>The wave turns against Rousseff, with millions of Brazilians joining anti-government rallies. </p> <p>She now faces impeachment moves, economic turmoil and the corruption scandal.</p> <p>The impeachment battle is dividing the country and has also sparked a bitter battle between her and Vice President Michel Temer.</p>