A Crusader Against Police Violence Is Assassinated In Rio De Janeiro
16 March, 2018, 01:17 | Author: Irene Delgado
Radical and beloved Brazilian city council member Marielle Franco died Wednesday night (Mar. 14) alongside her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, during a drive-by shooting in Downtown, Rio De Janeiro, The Guardian reports. According to Grupo Gay de Bahia reported, there were 387 homicides attributed to homophobia or anti-gay violence in 2017, or more than one per day. Otoni believes that Franco's death coincides with her participating in a recent protest.
She was born and raised in a network of favelas, or slums, called Mare, one of the city's most violent areas. "She looked at other people in the eyes and knew she was different to the other politicians".
Franco was known for her staunch socialist politics, and was a fierce advocate for the disenfranchised in Brazil's poorest slums, commonly known as favelas.
Her seat on the city council, it seemed, had instilled in residents the belief that they finally had a voice in places of power they'd rarely accessed.
She was also a sociologist who focused her education, according to news reports, on "pacification", the failed policing program created to seize control of favelas from Rio's drug gangs and deliver social services they have long lacked, but instead led only to more violence inside the neighborhoods.
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Franco received the fifth largest number of votes in the latest city council elections in 2016.
The attack, coming despite army intervention to control Rio's soaring crime rate, sparked immediate outrage around Latin America's biggest country.
Franco was an expert on police violence and on Saturday accused officers of being overly aggressive in searching residents of gang-controlled shantytowns. Franco had been a vocal critic of the city's police. Police say her auto may have been tailed several miles before the killer fired, killing Franco and her driver, leaving an aide wounded, then disappearing. He delayed a previously-scheduled event at the presidential palace to hold a cabinet meeting on Rio's security, and said the federal police willing to help with the investigations.
On Feb. 16, Brazil's federal government handed control of public security in Rio to the military, the first such move since the end of the dictatorship here in 1985.
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