Wife of Former Brazilian President Lula Dies After Stroke

  • Marisa Leticia was country’s first lady from 2003 through 2010
  • She was formally charged with involvement in Carwash scandal

The wife of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has died at the age of 66 following a stroke.

Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva passed away on Friday at the Sirio-Libanes Hospital in Sao Paulo, according to a statement on the hospital’s website. The couple was married for over 40 years, and Marisa Leticia served as Brazil’s first lady throughout his two terms of office, from 2003 through 2010. The funeral will take place Saturday.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with his wife Marisa Leticia.

Photographer: Nelson Almeida/AFP via Getty Images

Last year Marisa Leticia was formally charged with involvement in Brazil’s long-running Carwash investigation into bribes involving the state-run oil company Petrobras. Lula is set to stand trial on multiple charges of corruption and money-laundering. Nevertheless, he has indicated a willingness to run for the presidency again in 2018 and recent opinion polls suggest he is a front-runner.

Marisa Leticia was hospitalized Jan. 24 but then her health deteriorated significantly a week later. On Thursday, she was declared brain dead and Brazil’s lower house interrupted debate with a moment of silence in her honor.

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