Some Southern Brazilians Want out Disillusioned with the Federal Government and Feeling Threatened by an Influx of Poor Northerners, Germanic Southern Brazilians Seek Independence. but Critics Charge Racism

By Jeb Blount, | The Christian Science Monitor, February 9, 1993 | Go to article overview

Some Southern Brazilians Want out Disillusioned with the Federal Government and Feeling Threatened by an Influx of Poor Northerners, Germanic Southern Brazilians Seek Independence. but Critics Charge Racism


Jeb Blount,, The Christian Science Monitor


IRTON MARX is fed up with fighting Brazil's bad image.

The squalid shantytowns, corrupt politicians, and economic chaos some foreigners associate with Brazil hardly exist in Santa Cruz do Sul, a prosperous, squeaky-clean city of 150,000 in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Portuguese signs remind visitors that they are in Brazil, but the fair-haired, light-skinned locals seem more a part of Germany or Northern Italy than the compatriots of the Iberian, Indian, and African peoples who dominate the rest of the country.

Furthermore, Mr. Marx can't stand samba. For a good time, he prefers the polka music of the Biergarten. Carnival, he says, is "disgusting."

Marx is so fed up that he wants out. As the leader of the Santa Cruz-based, Pro-Pampa Movement, he is fighting hard for the separation of Brazil's three southernmost states and the creation of an independent Federal Republic of the Gaucho Pampa, the plains area in southern Brazil defined by its cowboy past.

"Brazil is like the old Roman Empire; it is big and falling apart," says Marx, a blue-eyed, sandy-haired owner of a clothing factory and a publishing company. "Our culture and economy are different here in the south. We are part of the first world. We are subsidizing the whole country and getting nothing back. Our high-tech industries are being hurt by Brazil's horrible image of corruption and mismanagement."

Amid Brazil's economic crisis and in the run-up to an April 21 referendum that may restructure the federal government, the Pro-Pampa Movement is probably the most explicit example of longstanding regional bickering over fiscal and political issues.

The movement already has a flag, is issuing identity cards, and claims more than 700,000 official members in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Parana - the three states he hopes will secede, with a total population of about 22 million. Marx says he wants to adopt the deutsche mark as the currency of the new republic and make German and Italian official languages alongside Portuguese.

Compared to the rest of Brazil, slavery was rare in the south and much of the region is dominated by descendants of immigrants who came from Germany and Northern Italy in the last half of the 19th century. In Santa Cruz and other cities German language is a required subject in school.

The region's "Teutonic" character, Marx says, is threatened by the mass migration of poor, unskilled, and mostly non-white workers from the impoverished Brazilian northeast.

"When we are in the factory working," he explains, "the northeasterner is on the beach. Our republic won't have any preference or prejudice toward any ethnic or religious group, but we want to maintain our way of life. We don't want shantytowns of Rio or Sao Paulo." Real grievances

Even the many political figures and newspapers who denounce the Pro-Pampa Movement's racist overtones admit that its strength is based on real grievances.

"The disintegrating effects of the global economy are happening in Brazil too," said Espacio Camargo, a leading Brazilian historian who has debated Marx. "In the face of this, Brazil has begun to fall apart. I happen to think that this Pro-Pampa Movement is proto-fascist, but it is based on honest concerns."

In particular, Ms. Camargo says, the country's 50-year-old nationalist economic and political model no longer functions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Some Southern Brazilians Want out Disillusioned with the Federal Government and Feeling Threatened by an Influx of Poor Northerners, Germanic Southern Brazilians Seek Independence. but Critics Charge Racism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.