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A comarca (meaning shire or county, Spanish and Portuguese plural comarcas, Catalan plural comarques) is a traditional region or local administrative division found in parts of Spain, Portugal, Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil.

The comarca is known in Aragonese as redolada, in Galician as bisbarra, and in Basque, in particular in the province of Álava / Araba, as eskualdeak or arabako eskualdeak.

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The comarca in Spain and Portugal

The term comarca is used in several regions of the Iberian Peninsula.

  • In Cantabria, the comarca exists as a traditional or historical division, usually identified with the greatest rivers of the region.
  • In Catalonia and Aragon, the comarca exists as a local government area, and has a representative comarcal council.
  • In the Valencian Community, the comarca exists only as a traditional region with no administrative competences. They are legally referred as homologated territorial demarcations instead of as comarques.
  • In Galicia the comarca or bisbarra are traditional divisions of the land and enjoy limited official recognition, but have no administrative relevance. However, the Galician government is attempting to transform the bisbarras into territorial administrative tiers, forming up a new regional network allegedly more balanced and efficient. Galician comarcas also have a comarcal council.
  • In Portugal the comarca exists as a regional sub-division, but has no administrative or official use beyond the merely referential.

In other places, such as Extremadura, the comarca may be simply a loosely-defined region.

Because of the comarca's long-standing use, it is sometimes used as the basis for the promotion of tourism, with emphasis on local cultural tradition and history.

Panama

In Panama, the comarca indígena is an administrative region for an area with a substantial Indian population. Three comarcas exist as equivalent to a province, with two smaller comarcas subordinate to a province and considered equivalent to a corregimiento (municipality).

Brazil

In Brazil, the comarca is a territorial division in the judicial system. It indicates the area covered by a lower level court. It may correspond to a municipality, or group together several small municipalities under one court.

See also

External links

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