Left-leaning Rio city councillor Marielle Franco gunned down in Brazil

In February Temer decided the federal intervention of Rio de Janeiro state giving the army control over police fire departments and the prison system in the region
Rio de Janeiro councillor shot dead in apparent targeted killing
Author

16 March, 2018

Marielle was shot dead in Rio de Janeiro's Estacio neighborhood on Wednesday night.

A police official told The Associated Press on Thursday that the 38-year-old councilor was killed by perpetrators who knew exactly where she was sitting in a vehicle that had blackout windows.

She was active in organizations like the Brasil Foundation and Cesam (Maré Center for Solidarity Actions) as well as at Alerj (Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly) itself. Her driver was also killed, ans a press officer was injured.

Franco's killing comes as the recent military takeover of security in Rio appears to be showing few positive results.

Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella called it a "brutal assassination" and Rio's Public Security Secretary Richard Nunes said in a statement that there will be "full investigation on the assassination". "How many others will have to die for this war to end?"

On 16 February, Brazil's federal government put the military in charge of Rio's local police amid a spike in violence.

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One of her last posts on Twitter highlighted the shooting death of a young man, describing this as "another homicide...that could be credited to the police".

"The climate of near total impunity in Rio de Janeiro needs to end once and for all", Canineu said. Civil Police chief, Rivaldo Barbosa, told a meeting of security officials that "we will respond in a manner befitting this most grave crime".

#MarielleFranco was part of a vocal young generation of Black Brazilians.

Franco, 38, belonged to the leftist PSOL party. "As a member of Rio de Janeiro's State Human Rights Commission, Marielle worked tirelessly to defend the rights of black women and young people in the favelas and other marginalized communities", said Jurema Werneck, Amnesty International's Brazil director.

Franco says her political life began when she had just signed up for university on a special program for youths from favelas when her friend, also a student, was hit by a stray bullet.

Franco's murder will nearly assuredly become a symbol of the dangers that Rio's favela residents face each day, especially as the bulk of the city's violence continues to target its poorest residents and the people who work on their behalf.


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