The 9mm bullets that killed Brazilian councilwoman and activist Marielle Franco were part of a lot bought by federal police in 2006, it has been revealed, as the country's top prosecutor confirmed she is tracking the murder investigation.
The ammunition was apparently stolen and has been used in more than 50 crimes since, a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge said she would not hesitate to demand federal authorities take control of the investigation into the murder if local police fail to aggressively pursue the case.
Dodge told reporters she hoped it would not be necessary for her to petition Brazil's top appeals court to give federal police and prosecutors control over the investigation into Franco's assassination.
Dodge has already taken the initial bureaucratic steps required to monitor the work of Rio de Janeiro state investigators' efforts to find those responsible for the Wednesday killing.
Franco, 38, was a rising star in the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL). She was returning home from an event entitled 'Young Black People Moving the Structures' in Lapa when her vehicle was approached by another car.
At least nine bullets were fired, killing the councilwoman and her driver. Her advisor, Fernanda Chaves, who was also in the vehicle, was the only survivor.
The United Nations Organization for Human Rights has requested a "transparent, credible" investigation and urged authorities to carry it out independently so that it can be considered credible.