Note from BW of Brazil: Although various reports on this blog has provided ample evidence that black women often come in last on the totem pole in many areas of Brazilian society (health care, entrepreneurship and even marriage, for example), there are also many great success stories that should be recognized. Some black women have claimed high positions in the corporate world, some in the area of law, academia and there have been a number of women who have made historical accomplishments in the political realm. In 2009, Marina Silva shook up the political world as a serious candidate to the presidency and is shaping up to be a solid candidate in the next election. Now, Brazil’s oldest political party, the Brazilian branch of the Communist Party, has announced that a black woman will take the reigns as its new president. See the story below.
The Comitê Central do Partido Comunista do Brasil (PC do B or Central Committee of the Communist Party of Brazil), gathered in the past 18-20 days, decided, by proposition of national president Renato Rabelo, to designate Luciana Santos, vice president and congresswoman from Pernambuco, to replace him starting in the first quarter of 2015.
A resolution will be submitted for ratification by the future Central Committee to be voted on at the 13th Congress, to be held from November 14 to 16, in São Paulo.The designation assumes the maintenance of Renato Rabelo as head of PCdoB during the transition period, which starts from the 13th Congress until the deadline for Luciana Santos to assume the presidency.
Luciana Barbosa de Oliveira Santos was born in Recife (capital of Pernambuco in the northeast) on December 29, 1965, originating from a large family with communist militancy. She is an electrical engineer, a profession which hasn’t exercised, directly entrance into politics. In 1992, she ran for city councilor, her first time running for a public office. Already this election she obtained great voting support, coming in as the first substitute. In 1994, she ran for the office of state representative, taking the first substitute position, taking office two years later.
Upon assuming the position of state representative in 1996, she scored her term by direct involvement with the popular movements. In 1998, Luciana Santos was re-elected state representative with 26,000 votes, almost double the votes cast in the previous election.
In 2000, Luciana Santos was elected the first female communist mayor of Brazil with more than 107,000 votes. In 2004, she was re-elected mayor of Olinda, in the first round, with about 122,000 votes. She was also Secretary of Science, Technology and Environment in Pernambuco.
She assumed the vice presidency of the PCdoB in 2009.
Elected federal deputy in 2010, she assumed leadership of the Communist slate in the second year of her term. In the Câmara dos Deputados (House of Deputies or Representatives) she sits on various committees. She is president of the Frente Parlamentar Mista em Defesa da Cultura e Desenvolvimento Urbano (Mixed Parliamentary Front in Defense of Culture and Urban Development).
Added to her political resume an opposition to neo-liberalism, commitment to Brazilian social movements, especially: the Movimento Negro (black movement) (presented the Bill establishing the third week of every month of November as the Semana da Consciência Negra (Week of Black Consciousness) in the state of Pernambuco, the indigenous movement ( in defense of their territory, showing the importance of the indigenous population of the state as the third largest in the country and supporting the Statute of Indigenous Peoples) and the women’s movement (particularly engaging in projects to improve the precarious situation of women’s health in the northeast and campaigns against violence and to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents).