Marielle Franco. Ninja Media
Marielle denounced, days before she died, police violence in Acari. PHOTO: NINJA Media

During a show in Rio de Janeiro, at Praça da Apoteose, last Sunday, Katy Perry made a point of remembering the deaths of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes, executed on March 14th. The singer took Marielle's sister and daughter to the stage and made room for the two to speak. In addition to offering solidarity to the families, she dedicated one of her songs to the councilor.




It was around 21:30 pm on a Wednesday (March 14) when Marielle Franco, councilor for PSOl in Rio de Janeiro, was driving along Rua Joaquim Palhares, in the central region of the capital. The car in which she was, accompanied by the driver Anderson Pedro Gomes and his advisor, was approached by armed men who fired nine shots at the vehicle. Marielle died instantly, shot at least four times in the head. Anderson Pedro also died at the scene, shot three times in the back.

The news took voters from the fifth councilor with the most votes in the last election by surprise. The “Cria da Maré”, as he calls himself, Franco began his militancy journey after the death of a friend. Since then, she graduated as a sociologist at PUC in Rio de Janeiro and became a master in public administration at UFF, the Fluminense Federal University. Young, 38 years old, he had already coordinated the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights and Citizenship of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to the surprise, there were also those who suggested the possibility of linking the crime with the military intervention in the state Public Security, since Marielle was appointed committee rapporteur that would accompany the intervention from the perspective of the conservation of Human Rights. Another possibility raised by activists on social media is retaliation against the councilor for denouncing cases of police violence in Acari, in the north of Rio de Janeiro, on March 10th.

The councilwoman, who received 46.502 votes in the 2016 election, was returning from a black women's empowerment event when she was ambushed. She leaves behind a 19-year-old daughter and a spirit of struggle for democracy and commotion that should take people to the streets of the big capitals this Thursday.

At least ten Brazilian capitals have manifestations of homage and justice scheduled for this March 15th. Among the cities that receive acts of repudiation against the violence that took the life of the driver and the PSOL councilor, are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife, Brasília, Natal and Porto Alegre.

Marielle is not the first woman and certainly not the first black woman to be a victim of feminicide in Brazil. According to a survey by Agência Lupa, based on information from IPEA's Atlas of Violence, a woman is murdered every two hours in the country and in 65,3% of cases the victim is a black woman.

every 2 hours a woman is murdered in Brazil, 65,3% are black

The bodies of Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, who was covering a colleague who was on leave, were laid to rest at ALERJ, the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro, in the early afternoon.

Marielle's party and activist colleagues left messages about the councilor. Jean Wyllys, federal deputy for the PSOL-RJ, said in a speech during a solemn session at the Chamber of Deputies that “Marielle Franco's ideas are bulletproof!”. The deputy asked the House to create a commission so that the investigation into the murder of the councilor and Anderson Gomes can be monitored.

Interviewed as soon as he arrived at the crime scene last Wednesday night (14), Marcelo Freixo, state deputy also for the PSOL-RJ, was moved to comment on the years of work alongside Marielle Franco in the coordination of the Defense Commission of Human Rights and Citizenship of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro. Today, in your account at Twitter, Ash tree vented, “Mari was a friend, companion with whom we shared our daily lives, our hopes, anxieties, dreams”.

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