Marina Silva is an activist for rainforest on the Amazon in Brazil. She was born on February 8, 1958, at Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil and is now 60 years old. She is currently a candidate for the Brazilian president of the Sustainability Network (REDE) party.
During her political career, Silva served as a Senator in the state of Acre between 1995 and 2011 and served as Minister of the Environment in 2003. She ran for president several times namely in 2010, 2014 and 2018.
Silva was born in a rubber plantation in Acre and then moved to the state capital of Rio Branco when she was a teenager, where she studied and continued to a higher level. After graduating from high school, she continued her study in the Department of History at the Federal University of Acre.
Marina Silva and Political Career
She developed an interest in politics and joined the Communist Revolutionary Party, a Marxist organization placed in the Workers’ Party. She then helped to establish the Central Acre Workers’ Union. She also helped Chico Mendes to lead the trade union movement and was elected a board member of Rio Branco in 1988 for her first mandate in a public office.
Silva was a member of the Workers’ Party until 2009 and served as Senator before becoming Minister of the Environment in 2003. She then ran for president in the 2010 Brazil elections as a candidate for the Green Party (PV), occupying the 3rd place with 19% of the vote in the first round.
In April 2014, Eduardo Campos announced his candidacy for the 2014 Presidential Election and appointed Marina Silva as a candidate for Vice President. After Campos’s death in a plane crash in August, she was chosen to run for the Socialist Party candidate for the Presidency.
In the first round of the October 2014 election, she won 21% of the votes and finished 3rd but failed to the second round. In the second round, she supported the central candidate, Aécio Neves from left winger Dilma Rousseff.
Marina Silva and International Awards
Silva has received a number of awards from the United States and other international organizations in recognition of her environmental activism. In 1996, Silva won the Goldman Environmental Prize for South America & Central America.
In 2007, the United Nations Environment Program voted her as one of the Earth Champions and the Sophie prize in 2009. In December 2014, Marina Silva was selected by the British newspaper, the Financial Times as one of the Best Women of the year.
Silva is also a member of the Washington, D.C. thinks tank, Inter-American Dialogue. In 2010, she, along with Elizabeth May, Cécile Duflot, Monica Frassoni, and Renate Künast were named by Foreign Policy magazine as the top global thinker.
Silva is a colleague of Chico Mendes, who is also an activist in the Amazon forest defense. Chico Mendes was killed for defending the Amazon rainforest in 1988. She and Mendes led a demonstration in 1980 to protect the rainforest from government control and interference.
After the assassination of Chico Mendes, Silva remained an activist and also became a politician to fight for environmental protection, sustainable development and social justice for the general public. Deforestation declined by 59% from 2004 to 2007, during the political career of Marina Silva. A good achievement and we need to protect our environment as well.