Marina Silva, defender of equality and the trees of the Amazon

On February 8, he will be 64 years old. His return to the government of Brazil has resonated in the world almost as much as that of the president himself Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. And if Lula needs debolsonarize Brazil, the inhabitants of planet Earth need – surely to the same extent – ​​someone disburse The Amazon.

That is the task (again) of the Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Marina Silva.

In Spanish journalistshis biography was summarized as follows in August 2014:

With a fragile image and health, due to years of jungle diseases, Marina Silva has a tenacious history of struggles and commitment. Born into a community of rubber tappers, one of eleven siblings in the interior of the Amazonian state of Acre (north), Silva, deeply religious and evangelical, was illiterate until she was 16 years old. Mother of four children, she worked as a maid while she learned to read and write, and studied history, before returning to her origins, alongside the mythical Amazonian leader Chico Mendes, assassinated.

Guy Mendes he was riddled with bullets by two ranchers and landowners who shot him at point-blank range in 1988.

As a child, Marina Silva was illiterate. She did not learn to read and write until her teens. She worked with her family rubber band (rubber collectors). He later learned to read, as well as trade unionism and environmental activism through social and family resistance against the highly predatory companies in the timber industry.

At the University of Acre (an Amazon state bordering Peru and Bolivia), Marina Silva trained as a historian. She also gained experience as a political activist in a Marxist party that had split from the Communist Party of Brazil.

She has been a candidate three times for the presidency of Brazil, after having loud differences with Dilma Rousseff and with Lula da Silva himself, whom he reproached for giving in to the lobbying of certain business sectors, some miners and others linked to the timber business. Likewise, he criticized them for not signing precise international agreements related to the fight against deforestation in the Amazon.

He left the Workers’ Party by slamming the door when the government authorized the construction of a huge dam for hydroelectric production in his region of origin.

He went through other acronyms of the left and ended up founding a party called Sustainability Network (Sustainability Network, REDE), which defines itself as “humanist, progressive and environmentalist”. In the last elections, she was elected federal deputy with the support of REDE and the Socialism and Liberty Partywhere social democratic, feminist and ecosocialist currents concur.

Despite his previous clashes, he has returned to the same ministry for which he was already responsible (2003-2008) under Lula’s previous presidency. Under that government, deforestation was vigorously reduced: several natural reserves were created and others protecting indigenous peoples and groups.

In his vital memory remains the misery he suffered in his childhood with his family, very poor and very numerous (eleven brothers and sisters). From there he inherited his stubbornness to fight inequalities and fragile health.

In 1997, she left the Catholic Church, which had welcomed her at the age of 16 in one of its orphanages, and joined Pentecostal evangelism, to which she remains faithful. She considers her religion and religious beliefs as essential in her life. She has declared herself against the right to abortion, but she defends the holding of a referendum in which the Brazilians pronounce themselves after a great national debate. In Brazil, there is a law that allows it only in a limited number of cases.

Deforestation and extractivist mining groups have continued to act legally and illegally for far too long. Marina Silva has before her –once again– a titanic challenge. It will not be easy for her to promote a new, more egalitarian and alternative development model.

In 1996 he received the Goldman Prize for defenders of the environment, considered a kind of green Nobel Prize.

“He was the victim of one of the first fake news campaigns in Brazil, a witch hunt promoted by his former party. [el PT] on account of his faith. ‘Suddenly it was homophobic, it was going to put an end to the secular State, to introduce creationism in schools’, according to Natalia Galarraga Gortázar (The protector of the Amazonsupplement Ideas of The countrySunday, January 8, 2023).

Marina Silva managed to reduce deforestation in the Amazon region by 82 percent between 2004 and 2012.

During those years, he summarized his political and environmental thinking thus:

The discussion between development and environmental conservation is a false dilemma. It is something that has to be overcome in practical terms, because it is not possible to promote development without promoting environmental conservation. These two questions make up the same equation..

His fight against inequalities is understood by his hard career. His supporters defend that there will be “zero tolerance” with wild deforestation. But the mobilization of the “fascist vandals”, as defined by President Lula, and the latest attacks against the democratic institutions of Brazil do not herald any easy path. Neither for the Lula presidency, nor for Marina Silva.

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Marina Silva, defender of equality and the trees of the Amazon