World

Brazil Could Elect Its First Black President

Here's a look at Brazilian Presidential candidate Marina Silva's rise to power and why she's remained relatively unknown internationally.

Brazil Could Elect Its First Black President
Getty Images / Mario Tama
SMS

Sunday's presidential elections in Brazil will prove to be historic, with the country's first black presidential candidate on the ballot.

Marina Silva entered the presidential race just two months ago after the death of her original running mate, Eduardo Campos. (Video via TVGuara23)

Although her candidacy emerged suddenly, her rise to power is remarkable. She was born into poverty in the Amazon and was illiterate until she was 16. (Video via YouTube)

And if she's elected, Silva would be the world's first Green party president. In 1984, Silva helped found her region's first workers union to protest deforestation of the Amazon.

In 2007, the United Nations Environment Programme named her one of its "Champions of the Earth." 

So with her long list of accomplishments and incredible backstory, why haven't we heard more about her?

For one, her race doesn't seem to be as noteworthy among Brazilians. A press manager for Silva's party told The Christian Science Monitor, "We have the aura of living in harmony, despite there being so much prejudice. It’s part of our education as Brazilians."

But Silva's campaign hasn't been free of controversy.

Silva revoked her earlier support of same-sex marriage, a move that lead to the resignation of her campaign's gay issues coordinator. Silva called the move a "correction of an earlier mistake."

Although earlier polls said Silva could take the election from incumbent President Dilma Rousseff, The Wall Street Journal reports Rousseff is expected to take 37.3 percent in the first round of elections compared to Silva's 22.5 percent. Rousseff is also expected to win the election if a runoff election occurs.

This video includes images from Getty Images.