FOLHA DE S.PAULO (Brazil)

Worldcrunch

DE TERESINA - Federal Police in the northeastern state of Piauí are investigating allegations of a drugs-for-votes ring. Candidates for the city council in the capital Teresina used crack to lure dealers and addicts to vote for them, accuses a prominent lawyer in the region Lúcio Ribeiro, who heads the local Commission for Human Rights.

The formal accusation was submitted to the Order of Attorneys of Brazil (OAB), though names of those being investigated were not initially made public. According to Folha de Sao Paulo, police are also looking for evidences that drug dealers and addicts have teamed up to destroy rival candidates’ ads.

A recent study from the Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) shows Brazil is the world’s largest market for crack. Roughly two million Brazilians — 1.4 percent of adult and one percent of youths — have used some kind of drug related to the substance. Piauí has one of the lowest GDP in Brazil.