Protests, anger a month after Brazil activist slain
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) â" Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro Saturday to demand answers in the death of city councilwoman and human rights activist Marielle Franco, whose slaying one month ago is seen by her backers as a political assassination.
Franco had been sharply critical of a security force takeover of policing in Rio. She and her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes were shot dead by assailants on March 14, while they were returning from an event on empowering young black women.
Authorities say surveillance footage shows two vehicles following Francoâs car and they are trying to trace fingerprints from shell casings found at the scene and track cellphone signals. Police say at least 13 shots were fired at the councilwomanâs car, four of them hitting her in the head. No arrests have been made.
Early Saturday, demonstrators stretched banners across some of Rioâs iconic landmarks and spray-painted walls with slogans such as âFight like a Marielle.â
âOur desire to continue her legacy, to fight and demand justice only grows,â said her sister Anielle Franco, who joined a large protest march later Saturday from Rioâs downtown to the Estacio neighborhood, where the two were killed.
The sister said protesters donât just want to know âwho killed her, but also who the person was who ordered this crime. We want to know who the person behind it is.â
Several other cities across Brazil and around the world also planned events to commemorate the one-month anniversary of the death of Franco and Gomes, and to demand that their murders be solved.
Marcelo Freixo, a state representative in Rio and friend of Francoâs, called her slaying a âcrime against democracy.â
âItâs an attempt to quiet a young black woman from the favelas who was in politics,â Freixo said.
Several international rights groups have called on Brazilian authorities to swiftly bring the assailants to justice.
âSociety needs to know who killed Marielle and why. Every day that this case remains unsolved the level of risk and uncertain ty surrounding human rights defenders grows worse,â said Jurema Werneck, executive director at Amnesty International Brazil.
Local and international organizations have come together to start a fund in honor of Franco that will support black women who aspire to political leadership in Brazil. The Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Ibirapitanga Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are among the donors.
Days before her assassination, Franco, an expert on police violence, accused officers of being overly aggressive in searching residents of favela slums. Her last post on Twitter called attention to the murder of a young favela resident.
âAnother homicide of a young man that could be attributed to the police. Matheus Melo was leaving church when he was killed. How many others will have to die for this war to end?â she wrote.
Franco, who grew up in a favela in the Complexo da Mare, was known for her social work and was elected a counc il member in 2016.
Langlois reported from Sao Paulo.
Copyright Â© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
- The Latest: Pence, 15 nations urge free vote in Venezuela
- Americas leaders vow to stem corruption, confront Venezuela
- In wake of defeats, Brazil's Rousseff takes show on the road
- Ibaka scores 23, Rap tors win Game 1, beat Wizards 114-106
- On 18th birthday, slain Fairfax Co. teen honored through volunteer work
- Trump claims success in Syria, but chemical weapons remain
- âHistory always has its placeâ: Celebrations mark DC Emancipation Day
- Streets close for DC Emancipation Day festivities
- River Festival Sunday honors âYear of the Anacostiaâ and Cherry Blossoms
- Bars in the DC area committed to showing all Nats games
- Metro says new tests could flag âundetectableâ cause of derailment
- Wizards guard Jodie Meeks suspended for 25 games
- Top food, fitness and cultural events this spring
Fun & Games
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!Source: Google News South Brazil | Netizen 24 Brazil