The ruling party's likely contender for Brazil's presidency in 2010 is putting a new face forward — literally, according to local news reports.

Brazil's major newspapers are running before-and-after photos of Dilma Rousseff, the president's chief of staff. They say she apparently underwent cosmetic surgery last month.

Rousseff was a Marxist guerrilla who was imprisoned for three years and tortured under Brazil's military dictatorship in the early 1970s.

Rousseff's press office has refused to comment on the matter.

But she made her first public appearance in weeks on Tuesday and cosmetic surgeons consulted by Brazil's main newspapers said it was clear work had been done.