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Murder of Councilwoman Puts Pressure on Rio's Security Intervention

03/16/2018 - 11h47

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LUCAS VETORAZZO
LUIZA FRANCO
MARCO AURÉLIO CANÔNICO
SÉRGIO RANGEL
FROM RIO

The uproar caused by the murder of City Council member Marielle Franco (PSOL), 38, has reinforced concerns regarding Rio's federal intervention and put pressure on the military, currently responsible for policing the city.

Marielle, who openly railed against police violence, was killed when criminals fired nine shots into her vehicle. The driver, Anderson Gomes, 39, was also killed. Investigators are considering the possibility of a targeted assassination. Criminals followed the councilwoman's car for 4 km. Authorities are analyzing images of several security cameras in the city.

President Michel Temer (MDB) said this crime is an attack against the Rule of Law and democracy. Those in charge of the federal intervention also stated the crime goes against the army's work.

A part of the federal government wants the military to allow the Federal Police to participate in the investigation – an idea supported by the Brazilian prosecutor general, Raquel Dodge. Raul Jungmann, minister of public security, stated the task is already under federal authority.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country to demonstrate against the murders. In Rio, people repeated "Marielle, presente" (essentially, "Marielle is here") and protesters met at Cinelândia. In São Paulo, people met at the São Paulo Museum of Art, and marched down Paulista Avenue.

The councilwoman had recently criticized Rio's Military Police battalion, the deadliest in the city. She said the unit was "terrorizing" people in favelas (slums).

Ricardo Borges/Folhapress
Thousands of people attend the wake of Brazilian councilor Marielle, in Rio
Thousands of people attend the wake of Brazilian councilor Marielle, in Rio

PROFILE

Marielle was from Favela da Maré, part of a generation of Brazilians who studied at community schools and had access to good colleges – she studied social science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and received a full scholarship in 2002.

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

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