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By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio State Governor Sérgio Cabral has said that relinquishing revenue from oil royalties, legally owed to the state, would be tantamount to committing a crime against the local population. The governor announced he would be taking to the streets in protest on November 10th, saying that he had the backing of the state’s 92 municipal areas’ Judicial, Legislative and Executive bodies, and also of the population at large.

Rio State Governor Sérgio Cabral, Rio de Janeiro, brazil, News
Rio State Governor Sérgio Cabral has been campaigning for Rio's "rightful share" of the oil royalties, photo by Antonio Cruz/ABr.

“Congress cannot interfere with revenue already guaranteed under contract, and it is not my wish to involve President [Dilma Rousseff] in an embarrassing situation,” Cabral said on Wednesday.

“Rio does not accept having resources taken away from it. […] There have been protests from senators from non-producing states who respect this. You cannot violate rights that been signed into law – period.”

Under the deal, approved by the Senate earlier this month, proceeds from the royalties would be distributed more equally among all of Brazil’s states, and oil-producing states stand to lose out.

Estimates indicate Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo’s potential losses are estimated at R$4.3 billion in 2012 alone. The governor believes Rio state could miss out on up to R$50 billion of revenue.

The Congress’s lower house will vote on the proposal in November.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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