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Dilma Rousseff: President, Brazil, 2011 - 2016


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Dilma Rousseff: President, Brazil, 2011 - 2016

Dilma Vana Rousseff served as the 36th President of Brazil. She was the first woman to hold the office. Rousseff became a socialist during her youth, and following the 1964 coup d'état she joined various left-wing and Marxist urban guerrilla groups that fought against the military dictatorship. Rousseff was captured and jailed between 1970 and 1972 and reportedly tortured. After her release, Rousseff rebuilt her life in Porto Alegre with Carlos Araújo, who would be her partner for 30 years. Both helped found the Democratic Labour Party (PDT) in Rio Grande do Sul, participating in several of the party's electoral campaigns. In 1985, she became the Secretary of Treasury for the city of Porto Alegre during the Alceu Collares administration, and later, from 1993 - 1994 and from 1998 - 2002, she was the Secretary of Energy for the State of Rio Grande do Sul under both the Collares and the Olívio Dutra administrations. In 2000, she left PDT and joined the Workers' Party (PT). In 2002, Rousseff joined the committee responsible for the energy policy of presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who after winning the election invited her to become Minister of Energy, a position she held from 2003-2005. In 2005, a political crisis triggered by a corruption scandal led to the resignation of Chief of Staff, José Dirceu. Rousseff took over the post of Chief of Staff to the President, becoming the first women to hold that position in Brazil, and she remained in that position until March 31, 2010, when she left in order to run for President. She was elected President in a run-off on October 31, 2010. She is the first female elected President of Brazil, in addition to being the first economist to hold the office. She was removed from office in 2016.

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