Bra­zi­lian ac­ti­vist Ma­rielle Fran­co mur­de­red

Le Délit - - News l Actualités - Claire Gre­nier Writ­ten with ma­te­rial from the Guar­dian and Al­ja­zee­ra

O n Wed­nes­day March 14, Bra­zi­lian ac­ti­vist and Rio de Ja­nei­ro ci­ty coun­cil mem­ber Ma­rielle Fran­co was as­sas­si­na­ted. That eve­ning af­ter lea­ving an event, an uni­den­ti­fied car ap­proa­ched her vehicle, and two men fi­red nine shots in­to its back win­dow, killing Fran­co and her dri­ver An­der­son Pe­dro Gomes, and in­ju­ring a press of­fi­cer. Au­tho­ri­ties have yet to bring anyone up on charges in the case, and gi­ven the cir­cum­stances, the in­ter­na­tio­nal com­mu­ni­ty is cal­ling for an in­de­pendent in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Fran­co’s death.

Fran­co had be­come a cham­pion for the ci­ty’s im­po­ve­ri­shed neigh­bou­rhoods -- known as fa­ve­las -- and was a known op­ponent of gro­wing po­lice and mi­li­ta­ry control in Rio de Ja­nei­ro, of­ten pu­bli­cly cri­ti­ci­zing the violent be­ha­viour of law en­for­ce­ment in the ci­ty. Ja­nua­ry of this year saw a 57 per cent in­crease in deaths re­sul­ting from po­lice ac­tion, com­pa­red to Ja­nua­ry of last year. Fran­co cal­led out the ac­tions of Rio’s 41st po­lice bat­ta­lion, a group con­nec­ted to se­ve­ral killings in the ci­ty, most re­cent­ly those of two men from the Aca­ri fa­ve­la who were found in a drai­nage ditch ear­lier this month. Two days prior to her killing, she condem­ned the mur­der of Ma­theus Me­lo, a young Black man who was killed by po­lice af­ter lea­ving a church ser­vice in Rio’s Ja­ca­re­zin­ho fa­ve­la.

Fran­co, a gay Black wo­man from Rio’s Mare fa­ve­la, was the fifth most-vo­ted-for can­di­date in the 2016 mu­ni­ci­pal elec­tions. Her death spar­ked in­ter­na­tio­nal ou­trage and in­ci­ted pro­tests. A fel­low ac­ti­vist and at­ten­dee at one of these pro­tests, jour­na­lism student Daiene Mendes, told the Guar­dian that “Ma­rielle was a sym­bol of our big­gest conquests. A wo­man like us, Black, from the fa­ve­la, who had a lot of strength to face the ins­ti­tu­tio­nal chal­lenges of the po­li­tics that al­ways kept us dis­tant.”

Newspapers in French

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.