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Dilma Rousseff

AKA Dilma Vana Rousseff Linhares

Born: 14-Dec-1947
Birthplace: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State
Party Affiliation: See Note [1]

Nationality: Brazil
Executive summary: President of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff began working as an activist -- opponents say "terrorist" -- while she was still in high school, in opposition to the 1964 US-backed military overthrow of Brazil's government. As a young woman she was involved with a series of radical groups, including the Marxist Revolutionary Organization-Political Worker (POLOP), the National Freedom Command (COLINA), and the Armed Revolutionary Vanguard Palmares (VAR-PALMARES).

The latter two groups took arms against Brazil's military dictatorship, and Rousseff was implicated in a 1969 robbery at the residence of former Governor Ademar de Barros. She was arrested by the military dictatorship in 1970, and held and tortured by authorities for 22 days, using electric shock devices and a special Brazilian mechanism called the pau de arara, designed to afflict severe joint and muscle pain.

Charged as the "Joan of Arc of subversion" in a trial where she was not allowed access to an attorney, Rousseff maintained her innocence, but was convicted. After three years in prison she was released in 1973, and went on to study economics in college. She has held Ministerial posts, worked as Chief of Staff for current President Lula Da Silva, and served on the Board of Directors of Petrobras, Brazil's semi-nationalized oil conglomerate.

Almost two decades after the 1985 end of the US-backed military dictatorship in Brazil, a "Truth Commission" ordered her conviction erased in 2006, and she was paid modest reparations. In 2010 she became the first woman elected President of Brazil, winning 56% of the vote in a nation that is almost three-quarters Roman Catholic, despite the Church's harsh criticism of her and open support for her opponent. Newspaper accounts generally describe her as a pragmatic leftist, and she is expected to maintain the business-friendly policies of Lula's center-left administration.


[1] Worker's Party.

Father: Pétar Russév (engineer, a/k/a Pedro Rousseff, b. 1900, d. 1962)
Mother: Dilma Jane Silva (teacher)
Husband: Claudio Galeno Linhares (journalist-activist, m. 1968, div. 1981, one daughter)
Daughter: Paula Rousseff Araujo (attorney, b. 1976)
Husband: Carlos Araújo (politician, div. 2000)

    High School: Sion College, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
    University: Federal University of Minas Gerais
    University: BS Economics, Federal University of Rio Grande (1977)
    University: State University of Campinas (attended, late 1970s)

    President of Brazil (1-Jan-2011 to present)
    Brazilian Official Chief of Staff for President Lula Da Silva (2005-09)
    Brazilian Minister of Mines, Energy and Communications (1998-2002)
    Brazilian Minister of Mining and Energy (1991-95)
    Brazilian Official Director of Treasury, City of Porto Alegre (1985-88)
    Member of the Board of Petrobras
    Assault 1968-69, convicted 1970, abrogated 2006
    Robbery 1969, convicted 1970, abrogated 2006
    Tortured (1969-73)
    Funeral: Nelson Mandela (2013)
    Brazilian Ancestry (maternal)
    Bulgarian Ancestry (paternal)
    Risk Factors: Lymphoma


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