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Ciro Gomes

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Ciro Gomes
Ciro Gomes (cropped).jpg
Ciro in 2022
Federal Deputy for Ceará
In office
1 February 2007 – 1 February 2011
Minister of National Integration
In office
1 January 2003 – 31 March 2006
PresidentLuiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Preceded byLuciano Barbosa
Succeeded byPedro Brito
Minister of Finance
In office
6 September 1994 – 1 January 1995
PresidentItamar Franco
Preceded byRubens Ricupero
Succeeded byPedro Malan
Governor of Ceará
In office
15 March 1991 – 6 September 1994
Vice GovernorLúcio Alcântara
Preceded byTasso Jereissati
Succeeded byFrancisco Aguiar
Mayor of Fortaleza
In office
1 January 1989 – 2 April 1990
Vice MayorJuraci Magalhães
Preceded byMaria Luíza Fontenele
Succeeded byJuraci Magalhães
State Deputy of Ceará
In office
1 February 1983 – 1 January 1989
Personal details
Born (1957-11-06) 6 November 1957 (age 64)
Pindamonhangaba, São Paulo, Brazil
Political partyPDT (2015–present)
Other political
  • PDS (1982–1983)
  • PMDB (1983–1990)
  • PSDB (1990–1997)
  • PPS (1997–2005)
  • PSB (2005–2013)
  • PROS (2013–2015)
(m. 1983; div. 1999)
(m. 1999; div. 2011)
Giselle Bezerra
(m. 2017)
Alma materFederal University of Ceará (LL.B.)
ProfessionLawyer, university professor, writer

Ciro Ferreira Gomes GOMM (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsiɾu feˈʁe(j)ɾɐ ˈgomis], born 6 November 1957), known mononymously as Ciro, is a Brazilian politician, lawyer, and academic. Ciro is currently affiliated with and vice-president of the Democratic Labour Party (PDT).

Born in São Paulo but raised in Ceará into a political family, Ciro began his political career at the age of 24 in 1984. Ciro was elected Mayor of Fortaleza at age of 30 in 1988 and was elected Governor of Ceará at the age of 32 in 1990. During his tenure, Ciro was the most popular governor in the country.[1] His Viva Criança program that reduced infant mortality in Ceará by 32% was given an international award by UNICEF.[2] His success led to his appointment as Minister of Finance by President Itamar Franco, where he presided over the Real Plan that stabilized the economy and ended hyperinflation.

Ciro ran for President of Brazil for the Popular Socialist Party (PPS) in 1998 and 2002, coming in third and fourth place. In both Ciro presented himself as critical of Fernando Henrique Cardoso presidency and attempted to be a centre-left alternative to petista candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Following the election, Ciro was appointed by President Lula as Minister of National Integration, presiding over regional development and the interbasin transfer of the São Francisco River. In 2006, Ciro was elected federal deputy for Ceará. Ciro was expected to succeed Lula for the 2010 election,[3][4] but Lula instead appointed Energy Minister Dilma Rousseff, a move he criticized.[5][6] Ciro coordinated her successful presidential campaigns,[7] but afterwards retired to the private sector.[8]

In 2018, Ciro returned to politics after joining the Democratic Labour Party, launching his long-awaited third campaign for the presidency. Running on a platform that included a public credit debt refinancing, a progressive tax system with dividend tax,[9] increased funding for education and healthcare,[10] and a federal agency defending LGBTQ rights,[11] and a Neo-Keynesean, re-industrializing platform.[12] as an alternative between Lula's appointee Fernando Haddad and right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro. Though he polled better than Haddad directly against Bolsonaro,[13] Ciro finished in third place. Following Bolsonaro's victory, many argued that Ciro would have won if he had been nominated by a centre-left coalition.[14] Ciro refused to endorse Haddad afterwards,[15] PT's offer to be his running mate[16] and has opposed Lula's party within the Brazilian left.[17][18]

Described as having "one of the sharpest tongues in Brazilian politics", Ciro's public image has been characterized by his outspoken personality, receiving both praise and criticism.[13][19] Ciro is currently one of the main opposers of Jair Bolsonaro's presidency, accusing Bolsonaro and his sons of criminal militia involvement.[20][21][22] Ciro was also critical of Michel Temer's presidency, characterizing Dilma's impeachment as a "coup".[23] He has also been critical of Lula's presidency, accusing him of enabling Dilma's impeachment through Temer and Eduardo Cunha's appointments, and both of leading a social liberal government that led to the current Brazilian recession and Bolsonaro's election.[24][25][26] Since joining PDT in 2015, Ciro has led a resurgence of PT's traditional left-wing nationalist opposition by PDT and the legacy of Getúlio Vargas,[27] receiving accusations of being a left-wing populist. In the private sector, Ciro served as director for Brazilian rail company Transnordestina S/A and steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional[8] and a best-selling author.[28]

Early life[edit]

Ciro was born in Pindamonhangaba, São Paulo, the son of José Euclides Ferreira Gomes Filho and Maria José Ferreira Gomes in 1957. His family moved to Sobral, Ceará in 1962. His father's family, the Ferreira Gomes family, has been active in Ceará politics for several generations.

Ciro enrolled in the Law School of the Federal University of Ceará in 1976.[29] Ciro later recalled that within the student movements of the time, he was most closely affiliated with the Catholic Left.[30] Upon graduation, Ciro returned to the city of Sobral, to work for the local government as a municipal prosecutor.[31]

State political career[edit]

State politics[edit]

Ciro ran for office for the first time in 1982, as a State Deputy representing Sobral, and won; he began his first term in February 1983.[32] Ciro attracted substantial media attention early on for his willingness to debate national political questions - including democracy, social reforms, and international relations - which he said other Ceará politicians ignored.[33] In 1985, Ciro also started teaching tax law as a professor at the University of Fortaleza.[34]

In 1988, Ciro was elected Mayor of Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará, and began his term the next year. As Mayor of Fortaleza, endorsed centre-left candidate Mário Covas in the first round of the 1989 presidential election and socialist candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the second round.[35]

Governor of Ceará[edit]

Ciro was elected the Governor of Ceará in 1990, at the age of 32, becoming the second youngest governor in the country at the time.[36] His efforts included policies to support small businesses and reduce bureaucracy.[37] He also cracked down on tax evasion, increasing state revenue. Ciro also ordered increased investments in education and in public health; by July 1992, a Datafolha poll found he was the most popular governor in Brazil, with a 74% approval rate,[38] and Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most important emerging leaders on the world stage.[39]

One of his most high-profile achievements as governor was the construction of a 71-mile long water canal, the "Canal do Trabalhador." Northeastern Brazil suffered a series of droughts in 1991, 1992, and 1993; in 1993, Ciro managed to organize and complete the construction of the canal in only 3 months, successfully bringing water to the capital city of Fortaleza and thus preventing a water supply crisis.[40]

Ciro' "Programa Viva Criança" public health program was attributed with a 32% decrease in infant mortality in the state, and was awarded the Maurice Paté prize by UNICEF.[2]

National political career[edit]

Minister of Finance[edit]

In 1994 he served as Minister of Finance in the administration of Itamar Franco. This appointment came at a crucial time in Brazil's modern economic development, when the Real Plan was underway as an economic stabilization program to fight hyperinflation. His successful performance overseeing the Real Plan was credited by some with helping Fernando Henrique Cardoso win the subsequent presidential election in the fall of 1994, after Cardoso campaigned on continuing the plan's implementation. However, Ciro would break with the Cardoso government in 1997.[41]

1998 presidential candidacy[edit]

Map of the 1998 Brazilian presidential election. Ciro only managed to win his home state of Ceará.

A founding member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), Ciro would leave the party, which was originally centre-left, in 1997 following its right turn. Ciro would join the Socialist People's Party (PPS) in opposition to the Cardoso administration, and ran as a member of the party for president in 1998 with Roberto Freire as his running mate. During the campaign, Ciro attempted to position himself as a left alternative to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a staple of the Brazilian left who had run for president twice prior to 1998 as a member of the Workers' Party (PT).

The centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), a kingmaker in Brazilian politics, considered supporting his candidacy, but did not end up doing so.[42] In the end, Ciro came in third place in the first round, and won 11% of the vote (only the top two candidates advance to the second round). The sole state he won was Ceará, his home state. However, Cardoso was re-elected with a majority.

2002 presidential candidacy and aftermath[edit]

During the 2002 presidential election, Ciro looked to be formidable, even passing PSDB candidate José Serra, the main centre-right candidate, at one point in the polls.[43] However, a series of gaffes, most notable a crass joke about his wife Patrícia Pillar,[44] led to his collapse in the polls, and Ciro came in fourth place in the first round, with 12% of the vote.[45] He supported Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the second round of the 2002 election, and was ultimately chosen to be the Minister for National Integration in Lula's new government.[46] When the PPS' leadership voted to leave the governing coalition in December 2004 that propped up Lula's government, Ciro chose to remain in his post. As a result, the PPS removed him from the party leadership, and he decided to join the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) in 2005. In 2006 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies with 16.19% of the vote, the highest percentage ever achieved by a single candidate in a proportional election.[47]

He has been publicly critical of the efforts to impeach Dilma Rousseff and prosecute of Lula.[48]

2018 presidential election[edit]

Having passed on a presidential campaign in 2010, Ciro announced his long-awaited third bid for the presidency in the 2018 presidential election as the candidate of the PDT. For the position of Vice President, Ciro chose Kátia Abreu, a centre former Minister of Agriculture, as his running mate.

Logo used during Ciro's 2018 presidential campaign.

Political analysts had widely speculated that, since Lula was legally barred from running for president (after his conviction for corruption, under Brazil's "Ficha Limpa" law), Ciro would attract many of Lula's supporters in the 2018 presidential election, and potentially unite a number of left and center-left political parties.[49] His main contender for the left vote was Fernando Haddad, the former Mayor of São Paulo, running as a member of the Workers' Party (PT) with Lula's backing. Polling showed that Ciro would have performed better versus Bolsonaro in the second round than Haddad would have.

While Ciro polled competitively throughout most of the election, Lula's endorsement of Haddad rallied enough of his former voters to support Haddad.[50] As a result, Ciro finished in third place in the first round, only coming in first place in his home state of Ceará.

In the second round, Ciro announced his opposition to right-wing rival Jair Bolsonaro, who he describes as a "fascist" for his pro-military rule statements,[51] but did not formally endorse Haddad.[52] Following the election of Bolsonaro over Haddad, a number of major left figures including Governor Rui Costa of Bahia, a member of the PT, indicated they regret supporting Haddad over Ciro.[53]

Personal life[edit]

Ciro has lived in Ceará for most of his life, graduating with a degree in law from the Federal University of Ceará.[54] He was a professor of tax law and constitutional law, and wrote three books on political economy: "No País dos Conflitos" ("In the Country of Conflicts", 1994); "O Próximo Passo – Uma Alternativa Prática ao Neoliberalismo" ("The Next Step - A Practical Alternative to Neoliberalism", 1995), co-authored with Harvard professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger; and "Um Desafio Chamado Brasil" ("A Challenge Called Brazil," 2002).

Ciro with his girlfriend Giselle Bezerra.

He was also a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School.[55] He served in the private sector as the President of Transnordestina S/A (a commodities transportation company in Northeastern Brazil), and on the Board of Directors of Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional.[56] Two of his four siblings (Cid Gomes and Ivo Gomes), his father, and his uncle, have all been involved in Brazilian politics.

He was married to his first wife, politician Patrícia Saboya, from 1983 to 1999, with whom he has three children: Lívia, Ciro and Yuri.[57] Like her husband, Patricia Saboya Gomes was also politically active in the Northeastern state of Ceara, including serving as a Federal Deputy and a Senator for the state; the two were seen as political allies. From 1999 to 2011, Ciro was married to Brazilian actress Patrícia Pillar.[58] In 2013, he began a relationship with Zara Castro, with whom he had his fourth child, Gael, in 2015.[59] Ciro is the godfather of his advisor Roberto Mangabeira Unger's eldest child, Gabriel.[60]

Since 2017, his girlfriend has been TV producer Giselle Bezerra; she was previously a dancer on the popular Brazilian TV show Xuxa.[61]


Published works[edit]

He has written four books:

  • No País dos Conflitos (1994) - co-authored with Miriam Leitão.
  • O Próximo Passo – Uma Alternativa Prática ao Neoliberalismo (1996) - co-authored with Roberto Mangabeira Unger.
  • Um Desafio Chamado Brasil (2002) - a collection of op-eds written for the newspapers O Estado de S. Paulo and Jornal da Tarde between 1995 and 1999.
  • Projeto Nacional: O Dever Da Esperança (2020) -

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Governo Ciro Gomes é aprovado por 74% - 7/9/1994". Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Brooke, James (14 May 1993). "Brazilian State Leads Way in Saving Children". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Aconselhado por Lula, Ciro busca conquistar PT para a disputa de 2010". Extra Online (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Por 2010, Lula quer aproximar Ciro do PT - 06/05/2007". Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  5. ^ Santos, Débora; Carneiro, Fausto (23 April 2010). "'Lula está perdendo a humildade', diz Ciro Gomes". Política (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Eleições 2008 / Rumo a 2010: Ciro diz que não se vê em palanque contrário a Lula - 22/09/2008". Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Ciro Gomes vai integrar coordenação da campanha de Dilma". Blog do Camarotti (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Ciro Gomes será o mais novo empregado da CSN, diz jornal". InfoMoney (in Brazilian Portuguese). 26 January 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Brazil: Candidate Ciro Gomes Defends Tax On Large Financial Transactions". RTTNews. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Ciro Gomes: Brasil's best chance for a developmentalist left turn?". Brasil Wire. 6 October 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  11. ^ Minervino, Tiago. "Ciro Gomes promete criar Secretaria Nacional para a Cidadania LGBT e combater a homofobia" (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Pilares e motores para um Projeto Nacional de Desenvolvimento". Clube de Engenharia (in Brazilian Portuguese). 1 June 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  13. ^ a b Sandy, Matt (21 June 2018). "AQ Interview: Ciro Gomes: "Brazil Cannot Endure a Leftist Government"". Americas Quarterly. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Um ano depois das eleições: "devíamos ter apoiado o Ciro Gomes"". Plataforma TodosComCiro (in Brazilian Portuguese). 17 September 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Ciro não declara apoio a Haddad e faz mistério sobre motivo de sua decisão". Estado de Minas (in Brazilian Portuguese). 27 October 2018. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Ciro diz que foi "bombardeado" por 48h com convites do PT para ser vice". Exame (in Brazilian Portuguese). 15 August 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  17. ^ "O que Ciro ganha ao concentrar ataques no PT e em Lula". Nexo Jornal (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Ciro pede trégua entre oposição e minimiza ataques que sofreu no protesto em SP". Política (in Brazilian Portuguese). 3 October 2021. Archived from the original on 4 October 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Ciro Gomes responde a 80 processos por danos morais no Ceará, diz jornal". Poder360 (in Brazilian Portuguese). 19 January 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Ciro compara Hitler a Bolsonaro: 'pelo menos era um intelectual razoável'". Poder360 (in Brazilian Portuguese). 30 August 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Carlos Bolsonaro volta a ironizar Ciro Gomes nas redes sociais". Estado de Minas (in Brazilian Portuguese). 20 August 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  22. ^ "Ciro Gomes troca provocações com Carlos Bolsonaro no Twitter". ISTOÉ Independente (in Brazilian Portuguese). 23 February 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Em vídeo, Ciro Gomes chama Cunha de "câncer" e Temer de cúmplice: "todo mundo sabia"". InfoMoney (in Brazilian Portuguese). 4 November 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  24. ^ "Ciro reafirma críticas a Lula e diz que petista tem "egocentrismo político"". Metrópoles (in Brazilian Portuguese). 14 October 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  25. ^ "Lula é "enganador profissional", diz Ciro em entrevista exclusiva". Congresso em Foco (in Brazilian Portuguese). 31 October 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  26. ^ Linhares Jr, José (4 May 2021). "Ciro Gomes critica Lula em vídeo nas redes sociais". Jornal O Estado do Maranhão (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  27. ^ "Progressistas saúdam Getúlio e Mitraud chama-o ditador de estimação". Revista Poder (in Brazilian Portuguese). 24 August 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  28. ^ "Novo livro de Ciro Gomes é o mais vendido na Amazon". O Cafezinho (in Brazilian Portuguese). 20 May 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  29. ^ "Comentarista esportivo, Ciro Gomes defende Scolari e critica protestos contra Copa - Notícias - UOL Copa do Mundo 2014". UOL Copa do Mundo 2014 (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  30. ^ ":: Memória Roda Viva - ::". (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  31. ^ "Época - NOTÍCIAS - Os incômodos do passado". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Época - EDG Artigo Imprimir - Entrevista: Ciro no ataque". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  33. ^ "Ciro Ferreira Gomes". CPDOC - Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  34. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Rumo a 2002: Ciro foi professor de direito tributário e contabilidade - 15/10/1999". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  35. ^ "Ciro Gomes". Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  36. ^ "Governadores mais jovens da história voltam a disputar cargos em 2002". Imirante (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  37. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Raio - X". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  38. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Governo Ciro Gomes é aprovado por 74% - 7/9/1994". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  39. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Governo Ciro Gomes é aprovado por 74% - 7/9/1994". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  40. ^ "Ex-Governadores 8 - Gabinete do Governador do Estado do Ceará". Gabinete do Governador do Estado do Ceará (in Brazilian Portuguese). 21 March 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  41. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - 'Não converso com FHC', diz Ciro Gomes - 14/09/97". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  42. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Partido pode apoiar Ciro Gomes - 30/6/1998". Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  43. ^ "A fortaleza de Lula". revista piauí (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  44. ^ "Em evento, Ciro diz que comentário sobre ex-mulher foi 'maior erro' de sua vida". ISTOÉ Independente (in Brazilian Portuguese). 9 March 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  45. ^ "PDF.js viewer".
  46. ^ "ISTOÉ Gente". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  47. ^ "Folha Online - Brasil - Ciro Gomes tem maior votação proporcional para deputado federal no país - 02/10/2006". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  48. ^ "Ciro Gomes acusa Michel Temer de ser 'capitão do golpe'". Minas Gerais (in Brazilian Portuguese). 5 December 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  49. ^ Kerche, Fabio. "Brazilian candidate still crushing his rivals from jail". The Conversation. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  50. ^ "Subscribe to read". Retrieved 26 December 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  51. ^ Zambarda de Araujo, Pedro. "Ciro Gomes sobre Bolsonaro: "como todo fascista, [ele] tem dificuldade de lidar com antagonismo"". Diário do Centro do Mundo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  52. ^ "Ciro Gomes sinaliza apoio a Haddad e diz que tem uma certeza: "ele não, sem dúvida"". InfoMoney (in Brazilian Portuguese). 7 October 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  53. ^ "Um ano depois das eleições: "devíamos ter apoiado o Ciro Gomes"". Plataforma TodosComCiro (in Brazilian Portuguese). 17 September 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  54. ^ "Conheça os Deputados". Portal da Câmara dos Deputados (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  55. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Ciro Gomes em Harvard; Anistia Internacional; Comunidade de língua portuguesa; Bocejo do papa; Redação da Fuvest; Únicos, mas diferentes; A miséria bate à porta; Por São Paulo - 25/1/1995". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  56. ^ Rizério, Lara (26 January 2015). "Ciro Gomes será o mais novo empregado da CSN, diz jornal". (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  57. ^ "VEJA Mulher". 24 September 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  58. ^ "Patrícia Pillar e Ciro Gomes estão separados desde final de 2011". Gente (in Brazilian Portuguese). 24 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  59. ^ "Pré-candidato à Presidência do Brasil é flagrado em app de paquera. Quem? – Glamurama" (in Brazilian Portuguese). 27 July 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  60. ^ " - Connecting People Through News". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  61. ^ "Nova namorada de Ciro Gomes é ex-bailarina de Xuxa". Portal Uai Entretenimento (in Brazilian Portuguese). 28 September 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  62. ^ a b "Ciro Ferreira Gomes". Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Maria Luíza Fontenele
Mayor of Fortaleza
Succeeded by
Juraci Magalhães
Preceded by Governor of Ceará
Succeeded by
Francisco Aguiar
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of National Integration
Succeeded by
Pedro Brito
Party political offices
New political party PPS nominee for President of Brazil
1998, 2002
Most recent
Preceded by PDT nominee for President of Brazil