Brazil's Pernambuco: The forgotten Interior. Unlike much of Brazil, the interior of the northeastern state of Pernambuco is an arid semi-desert. Away from the great Río San Francisco, the countryside is called the sertão, an often drought-stricken scrubland. The inhabitants have fashioned their own culture and history, and still commemorate their fabled bandit-hero, Lampião. Their great interior market recapitulates this history.