SAO PAULO – Brazil’s President Michel Temer, together with some members of his government, traveled to a Sao Paulo hospital to express their sympathy for ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose wife died after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage 11 days ago.
Temer was accompanied by the ministers of Foreign Relations, Jose Serra, and of the Treasury, Henrique Meirelles, along with Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha, former President Jose Sarney, and the new leader of the Senate, Eunicio Oliveira.
Temer and his group arrived at the hospital Thursday night and were jeered by demonstrators at the entrance to the medical center with cries of “revolutionaries,” because they belong to parties that supported the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff.
Lula was also visited Thursday by his predecessor, ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who in 2008 lost his own wife, Ruth Cardoso.
At that time, Lula embraced him, and this Thursday the two former presidents and political rivals repeated the gesture, as shown by a photo released by the Lula Institute.
Lula’s wife Marisa Leticia Rocco, 66, passed away this Thursday after remaining hospitalized for 10 days with a cerebral hemorrhage, as the lawmaker of the Workers Party (PT), Benedita da Silva, announced to a plenary session of the lower house.
“I wish to announce the death of the spouse of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has authorized us to do so, and to ask for a minute of silence in the name of Brazil’s former first lady” between the years 2003 and 2010, the PT lawmaker said.
Published on the ex-president’s social media accounts was a message in which his family expresses “gratitude for all the displays of affection and solidarity,” and said that Rocco had authorized “the donation of organs,” though it did not confirm her death, as was done by other PT legislators.
Rocco was Lula’s second wife, whom he married in 1974 after both had been widowed, and with her husband participated in the founding of the PT in 1980 together with around 100 union members and leftist intellectuals.
Lula, who is weighing the possibility of running for the Brazilian presidency again in 2018, has serious problems with the law, which in recent months has opened five criminal cases against him for suspected corruption, and in three of them his wife was included among the accused.