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Brazilian presidential profile: Marina Silva

Brazilian presidential profile: Marina Silva
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With more at stake than just the economy, Marina Silva wants to be Brazil’s most environmentally friendly president. The 52 year old Green party candidate has unsurprisingly put the south American giant’s ecology at the centre of her campaign.

A former environment minister under President Lula da Silva she has remained third throughout the campaign. She grew up in a community of rubber tappers in the Amazon and was illiterate until the age of 16.

‘‘Marina managed little by little to overcome her personal difficulties. She came from the very small Amazonian state of Acre. She has an excellent political background, in the sense that she has always been linked to the rubber tappers unions and she has also always been very close to the environmental activist Chico Mendes,’‘ said political analyst Ricardo Ismael.

Protecting Brazil’s precious rainforests remains her priority. Silva blames the rapid deforestation on the country’s cattle ranchers and farmers. She was named a champion of the earth by the UN in 2007 and believes Brazil’s rapid economic growth must come with sustainable development.

A senator for 15 years, after five year’s as Lula’s environment minister she quit in 2008 highlighting difficulties with colleagues and big business to pursue a credible environmental agenda.

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