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26 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 381 (2019)


Secession seems like a concept of the past. In our increasingly globalizing world, nationalism was growing archaic and halting progress. But secession has seen a surge in the last ten years. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The United Kingdom seceded from the European Union in the infamous "Brexit." And in 2017, Catalonia's grab for independence sparked the worst crisis in Spain since the days of Francisco Franco.1 Alongside these high-profile secessions, smaller movements, which until now were simply brewing and bubbling, are becoming inspired. One such movement is "The South is My Country," a coalition of three southern Brazilian states that wish to secede from Brazil.

This paper will examine the Brazilian separatist movement. After introducing the movement and the history of modern Brazil in Part I, Part II will examine what Brazilian law has to say on secession with the Catalan crisis as a comparison. Part III will attempt to navigate the murky waters of international law to determine whether a group such as "The South is My Country" has a right to unilaterally secede.