Assassination of Rights Defender, Driver

Assassination of Rights Defender, Driver

Assassination of Rights Defender, Driver

Two police officials told The Associated Press that two men in a auto fired nine shots into the vehicle carrying the 38-year-old Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes.

Franco's assassination comes two weeks after she 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.

Ms. Franco's driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was also killed, when a vehicle pulled up next to theirs at a downtown intersection and someone shot nine bullets into the auto, five of which reportedly hit Ms. Franco in the head.

Rio's Public Security Secretary Richard Nunes said in a statement there will be "full investigation on the assassination" of council member Marielle Franco and her driver.

Canineu said that the "climate of near total impunity in Rio de Janeiro needs to end once and for all".

Mr Temer last month (February) ordered the military to take over Rio's security, and public order has become a central theme ahead of this October's presidential election.

As a black woman who campaigned for the rights of Rio's poorest and against police excesses, Franco stood out on the region's male and white-dominated political scene.

Just a day before her death, Franco blamed police for the killing of a young man in a favela.

So far there are no indications of improvement in security in the city. She was proud of her roots in Rio's impoverished, majority black favelas and earned a name as a fierce critic of alleged police atrocities.

A member of the left-leaning Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSOL), Franco was a widely known advocate whose rise surprised many. The area's 130,000 residents are forced to contend with the presence of the city's two largest gangs, the Red Command and the Pure Third Command, as well as several militias made up of off duty and retired police officers and firemen.

Redes da Maré, a non-profit group based in Franco's neighborhood, described her death as "an irreparable loss".

Instead of turning her back on politics, she embraced it. Franco earned a diploma from one of the country's most prestigious universities before jumping into the national debate and then into electoral politics.

"Matheus Melo was leaving the church. They come to kill our young!" she tweeted.

Christian Aid has condemned this week's killings of human rights defenders in Brazil and called for urgent inquiries into their deaths.

Amnesty International and the United Nations office in Brazil hailed Franco's endeavors in defense of human rights and racism and demanded a quick and transparent investigation into the killing.

"In the women's fight, we are shattered", Lucia Cabral, who has worked with Franco on human rights issues, told Newsweek from a protest in Rio's city center. An emergency decree was put into place to combat rising crime as the military took over Rio de Janeiro's security.

Related news

[an error occurred while processing the directive]