Informal Redistricting, Petroleum Revenues, and Vote-Buying in a Rural Brazilian Town
John Marr Ditty, Denise Cunha Tavares Terra, Maria Eugênia Totti
Quixaba is a geographically isolated rural town whose residents depend chiefly on fishing, small-scale agriculture, and mat weaving. Although the region comprising Quixaba is located within the territory of the municipality of Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, virtually all residents vote legally in São João da Barra, RJ, the municipality that provides all the municipal services in the region, such as schools, health clinics, garbage collection, electrical infrastructure, etc. Through ethnographic observation and interviews and the use of a focal group among Quixaba residents, the present study sought to explorethe benefits each municipality derives from the current political arrangement as well as the perspective of Quixaba residents regarding it. The results indicate that while this situation translates into financial and political gain for Campos’s dos Goytacazes and São João da Barra, respectively, Quixaba residents find themselves disenfranchised of many political rights, with little recourse other than selling their votes.
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