Brazil

The body of Carlos Alexandre Pereira Maria was found on April 8 in a bullet-riddled car in Curumau, east of Rio de Janeiro, local media reported.

Pereira, 37, had been cited to testify in court as part of the investigation of the March 14 assassination of councilwoman and socialist activist Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes. Franco was a strong opponent of the military take-over of Mare, a poor neighbourhood in Rio home to about 140,000 people.

Police brutally repressed thousands of Brazilians who took the streets on June 30 to oppose austerity measures and the Michel Temer government. The actions were part of the second general strike in three months.

The “general strike” included work stoppages by teachers and workers in the banking, metals, health care and oil refinery sector, among others.

The full vote in the lower house of Brazil’s Congress on the government’s plan to reform the pension system will be delayed until the end of May, amid ongoing protests against it.

If passed, the controversial bill would cut benefits, raise social security contributions by civil servants and set a minimum retirement age of 65 years in a country where people work on average until 54 years.

Subscribe to Brazil