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Nelson Jobim

Nelson Jobim
Minister of Defence of Brazil
In office
25 July 2007 – 4 August 2011
Preceded by Waldir Pires
Succeeded by Celso Amorim
Personal details
Born Nelson Azevedo Jobim
12 April 1946
Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul
Residence Brasília, Brazil
Profession Jurist, politician
His Excellency
Nelson Jobim
Chief Justice of Brazil
In office
3 June 2004 [1] – 29 March 2006
Preceded by Maurício Corrêa [2]
Succeeded by Ellen Gracie [3]
Supreme Federal Court Justice
In office
15 April 1997 – 29 March 2006
Appointed by Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Preceded by Francisco Rezek [1]
Succeeded by Cármen Lúcia [4]

Nelson Azevedo Jobim (born 12 April 1946) is a Brazilian jurist and politician. He served as the Minister of Defense of Brazil from 2007 to 2011. He is a distant relative of musician Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Early life

Jobim was born in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, the son of Hélvio Jobim and Namy Azevedo Jobim, and the grandson of former governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Walter Só Jobim. He attended the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre from 1964 to 1968, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Social and Legal Sciences.[5] He taught philosophy of law and procedural law at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria.[6] His brothers are Walter Jobim Neto and Hélvio Jobim Filho.

Law and teaching career

After graduation, he began practicing as a lawyer. He was chairman of the sub-section of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil in Santa Maria from 1977 to 1978, and was vice president of the Rio Grande do Sul section of the Brazilian Bar Association from 1985 to 1986. He was also a member of the Office of Lawyers of Rio Grande do Sul and the Institute of Brazilian Lawyers, based in Rio de Janeiro.[5] Jobim served as an Adjunct Professor of the Department of Law for the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria from 1980 to 1986.[5] Jobim also sporadically taught graduate classes at the Department of Law of the Universidade de Brasília in the early 1990s. In 2013 he was nominated director of he Center for Technology & Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas, succeeding Ronaldo Lemos, the founder and director of the Center for the previous 10 years.

Political career

Jobim was a federal deputy for the 48th and 49th legislatures, from 1987 to 1995.[5] During this time, he became leader of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), and chaired the Commission on Constitution and Justice and the Editorial Board of Deputies in 1989.[5] He served as Minister of Justice from 1 January 1995 to 7 April 1997 under the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.[5] While Justice Minister, Jobim lobbied for the decriminalization of the use of marijuana, saying "The drug user must be helped and not persecuted as a criminal."[7] He also was responsible for the demarcation of Indian lands as head of the Ministry of Justice, though three years earlier he represented the state of Pará in a failed effort to have an Indian reserve in Pará declared unconstitutional.[8]

He was nominated to join the Supreme Federal Court in February 1997. He was appointed Minister of the Federal Supreme Court on 7 April 1997 and took office on the 15th, filling the vacancy caused by the retirement of Francisco Rezek.[9] During his time as Supreme Court Justice, Jobim chaired the elections of October 2002, and was elected Vice-President of the Supreme Court on 9 April 2003.[9] He was elected President of the Supreme Court on 19 May 2004. He assumed the Presidency of the Court on 3 June 2004, and retired from the Court shortly before the end of his term as president of the court.

He was the Defense Minister of Brazil from July 2007 until August 2011. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva appointed him to the position after firing the previous Minister of Defence, Waldir Pires, for his role in the aviation crisis of 2006–2007.[10] Recently, he has been active in the aftermath of the crash of Air France Flight 447. On 2 June 2009, Jobim announced that the Air Force believed they had found wreckage was from Flight 447,[11][12] leading to three days of official mourning.[13]

Based on early disclosures in WikiLeaks' "Cablegate", Jobim appears to be a pro-US ally within Brazil's government. In a 25 January 2008 cable,[14] US Ambassador to Brazil Clifford Sobel describes Jobim as an "unusually activist Defense Minister interested in developing closer ties with the United States." The same cable highlights Jobim's desire to conclude a defence cooperation agreement ("DCA") with the US and discloses the various tactical considerations involved. In particular, Jobim identifies Brazilian "Secretary General (Vice Minister) Samuel Guimaraes as a serious problem, not only on the DCA but on a variety of issues ... [who] 'hates the United States' and is actively looking to create problems in the relationship." In the same cable, Jobim told the US Ambassador "that he does not want to 'win the battle and lose the war' ... . In particular, he said, if Guimaraes and [Foreign Minister Celso] Amorim join forces against a DCA, that could be a serious problem."

Jobim was subsequently named by US Ambassador Sobel as an identity-protected source in a 22 January 2009 cable13 November 2009 cable states that Jobim was envious of the United States' information security infrastructure. Chargé d'affaires Kubiske notes that, in addition to desiring a DCA, "Jobim also favored moving forward with an information security agreement, saying he would be discussing the issue with the Ministry for External Relations."


He is married and has a son Alexandre.


Brazil portal
Biography portal
Political offices
Preceded by
Waldir Pires
Minister of Defence of Brazil
Succeeded by
Celso Amorim
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