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Two Women Amazon Activists Have Been Named As Brazil’s Environment And Indigenous Ministers

Brazil’s new leftist president Lula has appointed two women Amazon activists, Marina Silva and Sônia Guajajara, as his environment and Indigenous ministers.

Brazil’s new leftist president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – also known as Lula – has appointed two women Amazon activists, Marina Silva and Sônia Guajajara, as his environment and Indigenous ministers.

The two are looking to revert the former far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-environment policies and protect Indigenous people’s rights and land.

64-year-old Marina Silva will reassume the role of the environment minister, which she had held between 2003 and 2008 during Lula’s previous presidency.

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Marina Silva, speaks during a press conference at the Brazilian Socialist Party on Oct. 5, 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. (Photos by: Victor Moriyama/Getty Images)

As environment minister, she had help cut down deforestation dramatically in the Amazon. She said she aims to rescue “the lost socio-environmental agenda”.

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Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and future Minister of Environment Marina Silva pose for a picture during a press conference at the transitional government building in Brasilia on Dec. 29, 2022. (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, 48-year-old Indigenous woman, Sônia Guajajara, will lead the first ever Indigenous ministry.

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Brazilian indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara poses for a picture during an interview with AFP in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sep. 21, 2022. (Photo by MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Guajajara was featured in TIME’s list of most influential people of 2022 for her campaign against Bolsonaro’s policies.

She had also been part of a record number of Indigenous women running for office in Brazil in a bid to increase Indigenous representation.

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Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) and future Minister of Indigenous Peoples Sonia Guajajara (R) pose for a picture during a press conference at the transitional government building in Brasilia on Dec. 29, 2022. (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

Guajajara said the creation of an Indigenous ministry led by an Indigenous woman is
proof of President Lula’s commitment to safeguarding our autonomy and space to take decisions about our territories, our bodies and our ways of life.”

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Brazilian indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara poses for a picture during an interview with AFP in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sep. 21, 2022. (Photo by MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“We will repeal all injustices committed against Indigenous peoples,” Lula said during his speech to Congress.

Silva and Guajajara are also part of a record breaking number of women in Brazil’s cabinet.

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Marina Silva, speaks during a press conference at the Brazilian Socialist Party on October 5, 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. (Photos by: Victor Moriyama/Getty Images)

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