Rosângela Matheus

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Rosângela Assed Matheus
Rosinha Garotinho.jpg
60th Governor of Rio de Janeiro
In office
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2007
Vice Governor Luiz Paulo Conde
Preceded by Benedita da Silva
Succeeded by Sérgio Cabral
Mayor of Campos dos Goytacazes
Assumed office
January 1, 2009
Preceded by Alexander Mocaiber
First Lady of Rio de Janeiro
In office
January 1, 1999 – April 5, 2002
Governor Anthony Garotinho
Preceded by Célia Alencar
Succeeded by Antônio Pitanga
as First Gentleman
Personal details
Born (1963-04-06) April 6, 1963 (age 54)
Itaperuna, Brazil
Political party Party of the Republic
Spouse(s) Anthony Garotinho

Rosângela Rosinha Garotinho Barros Assed Matheus de Oliveira, better known simply as Rosinha Garotinho (born April 6, 1963) is a Brazilian politician.

She was the first woman to be elected governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, and the second female governor after Benedita da Silva. She was elected in 2002, and succeeded da Silva—who was previously deputy to her husband Anthony Garotinho and had taken office when he resigned to run for president. Rosinha, who had also been secretary of Social Services under him, adopted the stage name Garotinho (originally a nickname he took while working as a radio broadcaster) to have her image associated with that of the husband.

Early life[edit]

Rosinha was born in Itaperuna, Rio de Janeiro state, daughter of Gandur Assed and Wilmar Barros Assed. She has lived in Campos dos Goytacazes since she was 4. Until the age of 26, she performed in amateur theater, where she would meet Anthony Garotinho. The couple got married in 1981, and have four children: Clarissa, Wladimir, Anthony, and Clara. They also adopted other five children: Aparecida, Altamir, Amanda, Wanderson, and David.

She taught at the Colégio Batista Fluminense and also worked as a broadcaster in Campos, for Continental, Culture and Littoral FM stations, as well as at Tupi and O Dia radio stations in Rio de Janeiro city.

During her husband's tenure, she was the State Secretary of Social Action and Citizenship.

Rio de Janeiro Governor[edit]

Rosinha was elected governor on the PSB ticket after a fierce competition with the Workers Party, which until 2002 was part of the State's government in an alliance between Brizola's PDT. The Workers' Party was the party of the vice-governor Benedita da Silva, who had taken office after Garotinho's bid for the presidency, and decided to run on his own ticket for the 2002 elections.

An enthusiastic convert to evangelism - as opposed to Benedita, also a Protestant, but not an outspoken one - Rosinha was charged by the Workers' Party with populism and anti-secularism. In a pamphlet distributed at the time, she and her husband were charged with "manipulating simple people's faith, mixing religion and politics in a dangerous salad" in a "messianic and mistaken attitude".[1] In the ensuing elections, Rosinha won at the first run, defeating Benedita by a difference of 280,000 votes.[2]

During her gubernatorial tenure, although belonging to a nominally Left party, Rosinha nevertheless assumed the usual morally conservative stances proper to evangelical politics worldwide:[3] she was the first proeminent Brazilian politician to jump into the creationist bandwagon, by taking advantage of a State law (State Law 3495/2000, enacted by her husband) that stated that the public educational system was to offer religion classes on a confessional basis - i.e., that public schools were to pay teachers of religion chosen by different confessions' caucuses (namely Catholics, evangelicals and all others)[4][5]

She was also accused of an aggressive stance towards Afro-Brazilian religions, typical of Brazilian Pentecostalism in general,[6] as well as anti-gay bigotry: during her tenure, Rosinha followed her husband in blocking and vetoing any legislative initiative granting members of same-sex unions involving state public servants to receive pensions for their deceased partners.[7] She also supported a bill presented at the State Legislature by an evangelical representative offering homosexuals free treatment for "healing" their homosexuality.[8]

Nevertheless, as far as race politics were concerned, Rosinha also introduced an affirmative action programme in the State's public universities'(UERJ and UENF)enrollement of students.[9] This legislation enforced admission quotas for African-Brazilians and Native Brazilians, as well as former students of public highschools and handicapped people.[10]

Electoral scandals; Mayor of Campos[edit]

In 2005, a local electoral court suspended Rosinha's political rights for three years, on the grounds of abuse of economic and political power, misuse of public structure and staff, and distributing money without proven legal source during the 2004 municipal elections. The court found that she and her husband had interfered heavily to keep their local power-base in Campos, by supporting the election of Geraldo Pudim.[11]

Along with her husband and Pudim, Rosinha was found guilty of, according to the sentence, distributing social help at random, including houses sold by the government at the symbolic 1R$ rate, offering money for votes, and distributing "school kits" (paper notebooks, briefcases, backsacks, pens and pencils, and other similar items) to students during the electoral campaign in Campos, something forbidden under Brazilian Electoral Law. The ineligibility penalty was, however, later quashed by the regional electoral court, something that allowed Pudim to present himself as candidate in the extraordinary 2006 mayoral elections, while his adversaries were found guilty on the same charges of electoral corruption and prevented from running; Pudim, was, however, defeated.[12]

In the regular 2008 elections Rosinha was elected mayor of Campos in a run-off election, having 54.47% of the valid ballots.[13] She was subsequently, impeached in June 2010 by the regional electoral court on charges of further electoral corruption. As her vice-mayor was also impeached, her office had to be taken over temporarily by the president of the Municipal Chamber, Rosinha's brother-in-law.[14]


  1. ^ "13 razões para não votar em Rosinha e Garotinho" [Thirteen reasons not to vote for Rosinha & Garotinho], reproduced by Maria das Dores Campos Machado, Política e religião: a participação dos evangélicos nas eleições . Rio de janeiro: FGV , 2006, ISBN 85-225-0571-3, pages 85/86
  2. ^ Angela Maria de Castro Gomes, Direitos e cidadania: memória, política e cultura . Rio de janeiro: Editora FGV/FAPERJ, 2007, ISBN 978-85-225-0626-2, page189
  3. ^ Lowell Barrington, Michael J. Bosia, Kathleen Bruhn, Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices . Boston: Wadsworth, 2009, ISBN 0-618-49319-0, page 138
  4. ^ Emerson Giumbelli , "Religião, Estado, modernidade: notas a propósito de fatos provisórios". Estudos Avançados, vol.18 no.52 Sept./Dec. 2004, available at [1]
  5. ^ Ronald L. Numbers, The creationists: from scientific creationism to intelligent design . Harvard University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-674-02339-0 , pages 417/418.
  6. ^ José Jorge Carvalho, As artes sagradas afro-brasileiras e a preservação da natureza. Paper, Departamento de Antropologia, Universidade de Brasília, 2005, page 15.
  7. ^ Marcelo Natividade, Acima dos direitos sexuais está a Bíblia? Respostas de segmentos conservadores à diversidade sexual. Paper, available at [2]
  8. ^ Néstor A Braunstein & Betty B Fuks, eds. Cien Anos de Novedad :La moral sexual cultural y la Nerviosidad moderna de Sigmund Freud . Mexico: Siglo XXI, 2008, ISBN 978-607-30-0023-9, page 74.
  9. ^ Ana Claudia Boges Campos, POLÍTICAS DE AÇÃO AFIRMATIVA? A IMPLEMENTAÇÃO DAS "COTAS" NA UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DO NORTE FLUMINENSES NOS VESTIBULARES 2003 E 2004 (2005). Biblioteca Digital Ação Educativa, available at [3]
  10. ^ Ludmila Gonçalves da Mata, "COTAS RACIAIS: ACENTUAÇÃO DO RACISMO OU INCLUSÃO SOCIAL?". Available at [4]
  11. ^ Latin American regional report: Brazil & Southern cone, Volume 105, Issues 1-12
  12. ^ Silvia Pantoja , "O cenário muda, mas a cena se repete". Paper, available at [5]
  13. ^ O Globo, 27 October 2008
  14. ^ Cunhado substitui Rosinha na Prefeitura de Campos-RJ. O Estado de S. Paulo, 5 July 2010, [6]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Benedita da Silva
Governor of Rio de Janeiro
Succeeded by
Sérgio Cabral