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News > Latin America

Amazon Defender to Be Environment Minister in Brazil

  • Marina SIlva, 2022

    Marina SIlva, 2022 | Photo: Twitter/ @MarinaSilva

Published 29 December 2022

She learned to read at the age of 16 and entered politics with the support of Chico Mendes, an ecologist who was assassinated in an ambush mounted by landowners and loggers.

On Thursday, Brazil's President-elect Lula da Silva announced that Marina Silva, one of the Amazon's most vocal defenders, will become Environment Minister starting January 1.


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From that date, she will begin to face the lasting consequences of the ecological devastation caused by the administration of far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2023).

Known internationally as a reference in environmental matters, she was already a minister between 2003 and 2008 during the second term of the Workers' Party leader.While he was in office, Brazil posted historic drops in deforestation rates.

After being a candidate for the presidency of Brazil in 2010 with the support of the Green Party, Silva joined the Socialist Party and accompanied Eduardo Campos as vice-presidential candidate, who died in an accident in the 2014 electoral campaign. 

She then assumed the Socialist candidacy and came in third place. In 2018, Silva ran for the presidency for the third time with the support of the Sustainability Network, her party.

The tweet reads, "Marina is a minister and I am very happy!! Now I have a little more hope in Brazil and in the conservation of the Brazilian Amazon and other biomes. Thank you President Lula!!."

After the victory of Bolsonaro in the 2019 presidential elections, Marina became close again to Lula da Silva, the leader of the Workers' Party.

"It was an act of legitimate defense for democracy and the protection of the environment, the Amazon, Indigenous peoples, and human rights," the 64-year-old activist said.

Marina Silva was born in Breu Velho, a village in the state of Acre, where she and her 11 siblings survived by growing rubber, hunting, and fishing. Three of her brothers died as children due to health conditions in an Amazon area where miners pollute rivers with mercury.

Brazil's next Environment minister learned to read at the age of 16 and entered politics with the support of Chico Mendes, an ecologist who was assassinated on Dec. 22, 1988 in an ambush mounted by landowners and loggers.

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