Prominent Brazilian human rights activist and counciller for the left-wing Party of Socialist and Liberation (PSOL) Marielle Franco was assassinated in Rio de Janeiro on March 14. The openly gay councilor was outspoken in defence of the poor and against racism.
TeleSUR English reported: "Part of a generation of young Black Brazilians who are becoming increasingly vocal ... Franco was elected to office in 2016. A resident of the Favela da Maré, an impoverished community in Rio, she was one of the main defenders of human rights in the country."
Former head of Rio de Janeiro's Bar Association and a Congressperson for the Workers' party (PT) Wadih Damous, wrote on his Twitter account that “Marielle was executed. The assassination was consummated today but it's the result of a plot forged by the barbaric nature that has taken hold of Brazil. Under fascism, extermination groups act in complete freedom. Meanwhile, the military intervention (in Rio de Janeiro state) search booksacks of kids who live in favelas.”
Writing at The Intercept, Shaun King said: "We don’t yet know who murdered Marielle and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, though early indications are that the police might have been involved. Investigators reportedly determined that the bullet casings found at the crime scene had been purchased by the Federal Police in 2006. Bullets from the same lot were used in a series of brutal attacks that killed at least 17 and wounded seven in São Paulo on one night in 2015. Two police officers and one municipal guard were convicted for the massacre."
The day before she was murdered, Marielle complained about the violence in the city in a post on her personal Twitter account. In the post, she questioned the action of the Military Police. "One more homicide of a young man who may be coming in for the PM's account... How many more will have to die for this war to end?"
Thousands of Brazilians have marched to protest Franco's execution. Some of the demonstrations are depicted below, taken from TeleSUR English.
After Marielle was murdered, Brazil's population marched against violence demanding justice.Photo:Mídia NINJA
Members of the European Parliament protesting against the execution of Marielle Franco.Photo:Mídia NINJA
A vigil was organized as a tribute to Franco.Photo:Mídia NINJA
Parliamentarians and social movements do a solemn act at the House of Representatives in Brasilia, Brazil's Capital: #MariellePRESENTE today and always!Photo:Mídia NINJA
Parliamentarians carried flowers as they sat on the congress.Photo:Mídia NINJA
Big marches were organized in demand for justice.Photo:Mídia NINJA
Your blood on the floor will not go unpunished! Thousands of people are now in square square in Rio de Janeiro to protest against violence and war that kills black and poor people every day and also their leadership. Justice for the death of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes. #MariellepresentePhoto:Mídia NINJA