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“They tried to silence black women,” says sister of city councilor killed in Rio

Marielle Franco was rapporteur in the commission tasked with

Published in 15/03/2018 - 17:30

By Agência Brasil Rio de Janeiro, Brasília

Vereadora Marielle Franco na tribuna

The city councilor, who was also a human rights activist, was shot to death in downtown Rio de Janeiro. The driver in the vehicle she was in was also killed.Renan Olaz/ Câmara Municipal do Rio

The sensitive task of identifying the body of city councilor Marielle Franco, killed Wednesday night (Mar. 14) in Rio de Janeiro, was assigned to her sister, teacher Anielle Silva. She arrived at the Medical Examiner’s Office early in the morning, and it took over two hours for the process of releasing Franco’s body to be concluded.

Having identified her sister’s body, Silva talked to the press. “They tried to silence not just 46 thousand votes [garnered by Franco in the last elections,] but also many black women,” she said, regretfully.

Franco was rapporteur in the Rio’s Municipal Chamber commission in charge of monitoring the federal intervention in state public security and reporting any excessive use of force. Four days before being murdered, Franco denounced on social media what she termed violent acts by the Military Police in Acari, a poor district in the city.

The identification of the body of Anderson Pedro Soares—Franco’s driver, who was also gunned down—was made by his widow, Ágatha Arnaus Reis. “We live submerged in [violence.] We end up getting used to it. At the end of the day, it’s just one more. It’s not just me; it’s a lot of people. We kind of leave the outrage behind, because the grief is much greater,” she said.

The two victims’ wake was held inside the Municipal Chamber building, downtown. Franco’s coffin was carried by social and political leaders linked to the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), of which she was a member.

Federal intervention

In a statement made today, President Michel Temer described the assassination of the PSOL councilor and her driver as “unacceptable” and “inadmissible.” In a video released on social media, Temer also referred to the crime as an “attack on the rule of law and democracy.”

Temer went on to state that the government will monitor the development of the probe and that it plans to unravel the crime “as quickly as possible.” Temer also advocated the federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro. The work of the Armed Forces in the state, he noted, aims to “put an end to the havoc wreaked in the city by criminal organizations.”

In the morning, the president met with ministers to discuss the killing of the Rio council member as well as other issues concerning publiv security in Rio de Janeiro. On the night of the murder, the Planalto presidential palace released a note saying that the Ministry of Public Security has offered the services of the Federal Police to help with the investigation.

*Reporters Vítor Abdala, Vladimir Platonow, and Débora Brito contributed to this article.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: “They tried to silence black women,” says sister of city council killed in Rio
Edition: Mariana Branco

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