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  • Slain Black activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco.

    Slain Black activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco. | Photo: Midia Ninja

Published 14 July 2018

“Human rights defenders run a high risk in Brazil" said Amnesty International's coordinator, Renata Neder.

Four months have passed since the assassination of Black activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco, and the civil police force have not made a single arrest or provided a definitive answer to the case.

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Speaking about the unsolved case at the headquarters of Amnesty International in Brazil, Marielle's mother, Marinete da Silva, said "I will continue fighting for my daughter's life. No way will I remain silent faced with this situation.”

She complained that despite a lack of information from investigators, she “keeps believing” that the civil police will discover who were the assassins and, more importantly, those who ordered the hit.

“She was not killed by a stray bullet or in an accident. She was killed in an ambush. That pain will never heal.”

Amnesty International's coordinator in Brazil, Renata Neder, emphasized the human rights defenders, like Marielle, are faced with a cruel reality in Brazil.

“Human rights defenders run a high risk” in this country, she said. “Dozens are killed each year. There's a high risk that Marielle's case is not properly solved, knowing that, generally in Brazil, homicides committed against human rights defenders are not investigated, and that in Rio de Janeiro, the civil police force basically doesn't investigate homicides where state agents are involved.”

Marielle, along with her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were executed in a barrage of bullets at her car while returning home from an event in central Rio de Janeiro called "Young Black Women Moving Structures" on March 15.

Three days before she was murdered, Marielle denounced the deaths of two youths during a military police operation in the Acari favela.

“We must speak loudly so that everybody knows what is happening in Acari right now. The 41st Military Police Battalion of Rio de Janeiro is terrorizing and violating Acari residents. This week two youths were killed and tossed in a ditch. Today, the police walked the streets threatening residents. This has always happened, and with the military intervention things have gotten worse,” she wrote on Twitter.

Also, two weeks earlier Franco was named a rapporteur in the special commission established by the city council to monitor the military intervention in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Investigators have revealed that the 9mm bullets that killed Marielle were part of a lot bought by federal police in 2006.


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