Wife of Brazil's former president Marisa is brain dead

Da Silva had been hospitalized since January 24 with a brain haemorrhage due to a ruptured brain aneurism.

Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva

"An absence of blood flow in the brain was identified," doctors at the Sirio-Libanes hospital said.

The family of Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva, 66, had authorized the donation of her organs and "procedures were begun for the donation," the hospital said in a statement.

Lula's family issued a statement thanking supporters for "all the expressions of sympathy and solidarity."

A minute of silence was held in the lower house of Congress in the capital of Brasilia. Da Silva -- whose husband is universally known as Lula -- was first lady from 2003 to 2010.

Although Lula left power with sky high ratings and taking credit for Brazil's economic boom, his legacy has been badly tarnished by a subsequent recession and a string of corruption charges last year in which his wife was also indicted.

Both Lula and his wife denied any wrongdoing.

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