Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said rioters who stormed the presidency in Brasilia may have had inside help. Photo by: AFP/Sergio Lima

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva faces pressure to name the first-ever black woman justice to Brazil's Supreme Court next month, with a high-profile international campaign including ad spots in New York's Times Square.

Racial equality campaigners have also placed billboards in New Delhi -- where Lula visited for last weekend's G20 summit -- and in cities across Brazil, urging the veteran leftist to make a historic choice for diversity when he names retiring Chief Justice Rosa Weber's replacement.

Brazil's 11-member high court has had just three black justices in its 132-year history, all of them men.

Its current judges are all white, just two of them women, including Weber.

"It's unacceptable not to have a single black woman on the court," Karen Custodio, a lawyer for black-rights group IDPN, told AFP.

"Even with a progressive administration in office, the government has never talked about having a black woman justice... We need to change that."

Brazilian media reports have said the two favorites for the Supreme Court nomination are white men.

The New York ad aired several times earlier this week on one of Times Square's famed giant screens, sponsored by IDPN and another Brazilian black-rights group.

It shows a young black girl speaking of becoming a singer, writer or gymnast, following in the footsteps of famous Afro-Brazilians.

When her mother tells her she could also be a Supreme Court justice, she says no one who looks like her has ever held the job.

Brazil's population of 203 million people is 56 percent black or mixed-race, according to the national statistics institute.

The last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, in 1888, it has few black women judges today: seven percent of lower-court judges and two percent of appeals-court judges, according to the National Justice Council.

The Amazon Indigenous Lawyers Network is meanwhile calling for Lula to nominate Brazil's first Indigenous woman lawyer to the Supreme Court, Joenia Wapichana, currently the head of the government's Indigenous affairs agency, FUNAI.