Marielle Franco an outspoken Rio de Janeiro city councillor was violently killed recently, which sparked mass protests and mourning in Brazil.
Brazil is a South American nation that despite after a 2011 census showed that the majority of the population is considered to be African-Brazilian or Black, still deals with decisive diversity over race. Marielle Franco who is a politician who fought for civil rights and equality. That fight abruptly came to an end.
Various reporters and news organizations openly spoke out on Twitter about the politicians violent death. Some even going as far as to say that the events and method surrounding her passing were tied to her work as an outspoken city council person. Franco who stood a voice for the voiceless was silenced a hale of gunfire that may not be just happenstance. The Mayor even calling it a brutal assassination.
At first there were some reports this might have been a robbery gone wrong. Doesn't look like that now. Looks like an execution. Rio's mayor just called it a "brutal assassination." A huge blow to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. https://t.co/KJeF8XlcYE
— Vincent Bevins (@Vinncent) March 15, 2018
Marielle Franco, councillor and police critic, shot dead in targeted killing in Rio https://t.co/yG3Wh5qw9R
— The Guardian (@guardian) March 15, 2018
"A city council member and her driver have been shot dead by two attackers on a downtown street in Rio de Janeiro in what appeared to be a targeted assassination."
Brazil is a democratic country, but only for those that don't speak up
— Adriana Somavilla (@adri_somavilla) March 15, 2018
According to the Associated Press, 2 two men released 9 shots into her vehicle killing Franco who was 38, and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. Reuters reported they were survived by her press secretary who survived the bullet riddled onslaught with minor injuries. The Guardian also followed that Rio’s chief of public security promised a “full investigation,” concerning the slain politician.
Brazil is no stranger to this type of political violence. In 2016 13 candidates were killed leading up to the city council polls in the same year Franco was elected, according to Reuters. This in the midst of Brazil’s president Michel Temer gave the military unyielding security powers in Rio’s large favela or ghetto, where gang violence is a part of daily life. This is important to note because Franco, a popular local LGBTQ and human rights activist (and the only black member of the city council), grew up in one of Rio’s largest favelas, and rose to political power and note by demanding economic equality and calling for an end to police brutality.
In her own words:
O que está acontecendo agora em Acari é um absurdo! E acontece desde sempre! O 41° batalhão da PM é conhecido como Batalhão da morte. CHEGA de esculachar a população! CHEGA de matarem nossos jovens! pic.twitter.com/SrSycFE5Sl
— Marielle Franco (@mariellefranco) March 10, 2018
“What is happening now in Acari is absurd! And it has been happening forever! The 41st MP battalion is known as the Death Battalion. ARRIVE to sculpt the population! ARRIVE to kill our youth!” This was one of Franco’s last tweets before her tragic passing.