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Vote Cacareco

In October of 1959, it was reported that a female rhinoceros named Cacareco had won the San Paolo municipal council election in a landslide, having received in excess of 100,000 write-in votes. She was immediately disqualified on the grounds that she had been on loan to the Sao Paolo zoo from the Rio de Janeiro zoo and was therefore not a resident of Sao Paolo.

Her fame quickly spread worldwide. A week later the rhino had her name added to the ballot in Porto Alegre, along with a black bull, a goat, and 212 human beings.

Then Cacareco was nominated to be the president of the student body at the University of Havana, but lost to Rolando Cubela, He had been deputy minister to Fidel Castro before resigning to run for student president.

Cacareco died of a liver ailment on November 27, 1962. At the time, a vote for Cacareco was seen as a protest vote against political corruption, inflation, and acute shortages across Brazil. Today the term “Voto Cacareco” (Vote Cacareco) is a term commonly used to indicate a protest vote.

1850 Sketch of a Rhinoceros
1850 Sketch of a Rhinoceros that appeared on page 25 of the Encyclopedia of Natural History.
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