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Men accused of killing Franco arrested this morning, heard by police

They are a retired and a former military police agents

Published in 12/03/2019 - 14:05

By Vitor Abdala Rio de Janeiro

The two men arrested Tuesday (Mar. 12), suspected of executing Rio city councilor Marielle Franco, of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), and her driver Anderson Gomes, are being heard by the police right now at the homicide division of the police in Rio de Janeiro. Retired military police agent Ronnie Lessa and the former military police officer Élcio  Queiroz were arrested in the early hours today after being reported to the authorities. The 34 search and seizure warrants are being served at the addresses of the accused.

Ronnie Lessa was named by Rio prosecutors as the man who fired the 13 shots that hit the car where Franco was. Élcio Queiroz, in turn, is believed to have driven the vehicle where Lessa was.

The murder took place on March 14, 2018, at night, when the car where Franco, her driver Gomes, and an adviser, who survived the attack, stopped before traffic lights at a crossroads formed by Joaquim Palhares, Estácio de Sá, and João Paulo I streets.

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Ronnie Lessa was retired after a bomb attack targeting him, which led to the amputation of one of his legs. The incident is believed to have been triggered by a clash between criminal organizations.

Élcio Queiroz was expelled from the corporation. He was arrested in 2011 under Operation Guillotine, launched by the Federal Police, which probed into the involvement of military police agents with drug dealers and militia.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Talita Cavalcante / José Romildo

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