Administrative subdivisions (States)
June 20, 2007 2:59pm CST
Brazil is a federation consisting of twenty-six states (estados) and one federal district (Distrito Federal), making a total of twenty-seven "federate units". The Brazilian states enjoy a significant autonomy of government, law making, public security and taxation. The government of a state is headed by a Governor (governador), elected by popular vote, and also comprises its own legislative body (assembléia legislativa). Each state is divided into municipalities (municípios) with their own legislative council (câmara de vereadores) and a mayor (prefeito), which are autonomous and hierarchically independent from both federal and state government. A municipality may include other towns (distritos) besides the municipal seat; those, however, have no separate government. The judiciary is organized at the state and federal levels within districts called foros. The foros in the state judiciary are called comarcas. Each comarca may include one or several municipalities. In the federal judiciary the foros are called seções judiciárias. One seção judiciária corresponds to the area of one State or the Federal District, according to article 110 of the Federal Constitution. Seções judiciárias may be divided in smaller units, called subseções judiciárias.