Brazil Mourns the Murder of a Rare Hero

17 March, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • A police officer works on the crime scene where the council member Marielle Franco and her driver where both shot to death by two unidentified attackers in Rio de Janeiro Brazil Wednesday

Brazilians are reacting with outrage to the murder of a prominent councilwoman and human rights activist in Rio de Janeiro, in a blow to President Michel Temer's decision to deploy the military to tackle criminality in the postcard city.

People look on as Rio's Civil Police officers transport Brazilian politician Marielle Franco's auto, where she was found shot dead in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 15, 2018.

According to The Associated Press, Franco and her driver were shot by two attackers last night.

"Those were her issues", said Luiz Eduardo Soares, a former public security secretary with Brazil's federal government, and co-author of Elite da Tropa, a book about Rio's military police.

The driver of the vehicle, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was also shot dead while Franco's adviser sustained injuries. Many of those who took to the streets say that they hope that these two deaths will promote a national movement, just as United States students in Parkland, Florida formed a movement to protest against lenient gun laws after the shooting at one of the district's high school last month.

"I was very happy because it was a reply, through the polls, to the people who want to keep us black women from the favelas away from the debates", she said at the time.

On Sunday on her Facebook page, Franco decried what she alleged to be the police killing of two boys during a police raid in an area called Acari.

Dos personas lloran en la acera junto al lugar donde la concejal Marielle Franco y su chofer fueron asesinados a balazos por dos atacantes no identificados en Río de Janeiro Brasil el jueves 15 de marzo de 2018

So far there are no indications of improvement in security in the city.

Ms. Franco's death comes amid rising criticism of the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro.

When she was elected to the city council, Franco stood out for a bill that would force the city to track statistics on violence against women. Franco, part of a commission to oversee the military intervention, harshly criticized the move on Sunday, saying it could worsen police violence against residents.

Franco, who was raised and lived in the Mare complex of slums, long one of Rio's more risky areas, received over 46,500 votes in the 2016 election, the fifth most popular representative out of 51 council members. "How many more have to die?" asked one. Matheus Melo was leaving church when he was killed.

Police are investigating whether the killing of Franco - a police critic - was a targeted hit. Today she WAS MURDERED coming back home from a protest called "Young Black Women Moving Structures". The army general in charge of the federal intervention in Rio should guarantee investigators the necessary resources and independence to identify the murderers, Human Rights Watch said.

"The climate of near total impunity in Rio de Janeiro needs to end once and for all", Canineu added.

By Thursday morning, around 1,000 people had gathered in central Rio to mourn Franco's death, while some 30,000 more had signaled their intention on social media to attend at least one of several rallies later in the day.

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