Official data from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) and social movements indicate that Brazil elected a record number of indigenous and quilombola [afro-brazilian traditional communities members] candidates in the 2020 municipal elections. There were at least 220 indigenous – 10 mayors, 10 deputy mayors and 200 councilmen – and 57 quilombolas – one mayor, one deputy mayor and 55 councilmen – according to the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).
The information on indigenous candidacies is based on the self-declaration made to electoral justice, registered by the TSE portal, and on the mapping carried out by organizations associated with the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil Network (Apib). According to Apib, the elected candidates belong to 47 peoples and 85 municipalities from all regions of Brazil. Compared to 2016, there has been an increase of almost 12% in the number of indigenous candidates elected, considering only the official data of the TSE. The ISA report also highlights the states that led the list of elected candidates in 2020, with Amazonas in first place (38), followed by Paraíba (18), Pernambuco (17) and Roraima and Bahia, with 15 each. Listened by the NGO, Kléber Karipuna, of Apib coordination, acknowledges in the 2020 elections an important victory of the indigenous movement: “Even in this situation of pandemic, which hindered these candidacies, it is a number considered satisfactory and significant growth of representativeness in the powers, both legislative and executive, and throughout Brazil”.
The survey of quilombola candidates was done by the National Coordination for the Articulation of Rural Black Quilombola Communities (Conaq), which estimates an increase of 54% in candidacies compared to the municipal elections of 2016. For the organization, this is the first time that the quilombola population participates in an expressive way in electoral disputes. “This result represents above all the recognition of the tireless struggle of these leaders for their territories,” said Antônio Crioulo, who accompanied the mobilization in the 23 states in which Conaq operates
In Maranhão, a state that is protagonist of the quilombolas struggle against the expansion of the Alcântara Launching Base, marked by removals and violations of rights, 14 quilombolas councilmen were elected, 11 of them in Alcântara, a municipality that houses the Brazilian Air Force project.