FACTBOX-Brazil's environment minister Silva quits

Tue May 13, 2008 8:51pm BST

May 13 (Reuters) - Following are some facts about Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva, who resigned on Tuesday without making public the reason for her decision.

* Silva was born in 1958 in the Amazon state of Acre and worked as a rubber tapper, extracting rubber from trees, before earning a university degree.

* She worked closely with rubber tapper leader Chico Mendes to organize peaceful demonstrations against the expulsion of local communities by farmers and loggers. Mendes was shot dead in 1988 in an assassination that drew global attention to the destruction of the Amazon rain forest.

* In 1994, Silva was elected to Brazil's Senate and was chosen by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2002 as his government's first environment minister.

* Silva unsuccessfully opposed several large infrastructure projects in the Amazon, including dams and roads. Her ministry was weakened politically in early 2007 when Lula split up the environment agency to speed the approval of energy projects.

* Health problems, including tropical diseases and metal poisoning, caused Silva to be hospitalized for long periods. (Reporting by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Eric Walsh)




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