SAO PAULO — A former Marxist guerrilla who was tortured and imprisoned during Brazil's long dictatorship was elected Sunday as president of Brazil, a country in the midst of an economic and political rise.
A statement from the Supreme Electoral Court, which oversees elections, said governing party candidate Dilma Rousseff won the election. When she takes office Jan. 1, she will be the first female leader of Latin America's biggest nation.
With 99 percent of the ballots counted, Rousseff had 55.6 percent compared to 44.4 percent for her centrist rival, Jose Serra, the electoral court said.
"I'm very happy. I want to thank all Brazilians for this moment and I promise to honor the trust they have shown me," Rousseff told reporters who swarmed a car carrying her in Brasilia, her first public words as president-elect.