Black activists in Salvador, Brazil have convened in the Center of Afro-Oriental Studies at the Federal University of Bahia, or UFBA, to discuss strategies of collective community security. Apart from local activists, the meeting was also attended by members of the Mare Network Development Projects from Rio de Janeiro and and Observatory of Favelas.
The latest meeting was prompted by the assassination of Black activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco, who described herself, in part, as a “child of Mare (Favela)” in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Alane Reis,a member of the Odara Institute, said Franco's execution, and “the way in which her political party,” Socialism and Liberty Party, was “not concerned with providing her protection” is also indicative of “racism.”
She pointed out that Franco's untimely death “was not a loss for the left. It was a loss for Black women,” according to local outlet Correio Nago.
Franco, along with her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was fatally shot 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".
During conversations she recalled critical political engagements taken by Angela Davis in the 1960s and 70s, and cited Audre Lorde, saying that “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
The 9mm bullets fired at her were part of a lot bought by the federal police in 2006. A source told Reuters on condition of anonymity, that the ammunition was apparently stolen and has been used in more than 50 crimes since.
“I said that only Marielle was able to undertake such a term in office. She was able to unite and organize and represent and speak with people like no other Black woman who occupied that spot in the (city) council,” said Ana Paula Lisboa, a Black writer who participated in the event.
African-descendants, or people who identify as Black in Brazil are 23.5 percent more likely to be killed than any other ethnic group in the country, found a study titled, “2017 Violence Atlas,” undertaken by the Institute for Applied Economic Research and the Brazilian Forum of Public Safety.
Brasil de Fato reported that for every 100 murders in Brazil, 71 are Black people. According to Dina Alves, a lawyer and researcher of race, gender, and class, the staggering numbers are conclusive in determining that Brazil is a “genocide project” of Black people.
She added that “it's not by chance that most people who die are Black, that the majority of those incarcerated are Black people. It's the state that kills when police kill.”