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Former guerilla fighter becomes “world’s most powerful woman” tomorrow

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Dilma Rousseff

In Sunday's Brazilian elections, former guerilla "terrorist" Dilma Rousseff will likely win the Presidency and become what the UK Independent calls "the most powerful woman in the world." Roussef, who was arrested for trying to overthrow Brazil's dictatorship in 1970 and was tortured for her troubles, will assume power after a decades-long political rise, filled with numerous twists and turns:

As head of state, president Dilma Rousseff would outrank Angela Merkel, Germany's Chancellor, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State: her enormous country of 200 million people is reveling in its new oil wealth. Brazil's growth rate, rivaling China's, is one that Europe and Washington can only envy. 

According to the Independent, her record includes:

-conquered lymphatic cancer

-unashamed of a past as an urban guerrilla which included battling the generals and spending time in jail as a political prisoner

-[as a young girl] when a young beggar with sad eyes came to her family's door she tore a currency note in half to share with him, not knowing that half a banknote had no value

-She joined secretive radical groups that saw nothing wrong with taking up arms against an illegitimate military regime. Besides cosseting the rich and crushing trade unions and the underclass, the generals censored the press, forbidding editors from leaving gaps in newspapers to show where news had been suppressed…

-In 1993 she was named secretary of energy for the state, and pulled off the coup of vastly increasing power production

Dilma Rousseff mugshot

Her 1970 mugshot. How many Presidents have you ever heard of that have a mugshot?

Check out these and more tidbits from her past, including a list of countries where women have a sizable role in government, which is pretty interesting.