Note from BW of Brazil: The shock, outrage and profound sadness can still be felt throughout the entire nation. In scenes reminiscent of the multitudes protesting price hikes of public transportation back in 2013 and the various demonstrations calling for the ouster of the subsequently impeached President Dilma Rousseff, tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets to express their anger and sorrow with the violence that took the lives of Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, victims of an execution style murder on March 14th. Franco’s murder brings to front and center the issue of what many Afro-Brazilians call “the genocide of the black population”. It also exemplifies data that reveal that the murders of white women in Brazil fell by 9.3% in ten years (2002-2013), while the murders of black women had an increase of 54.2%! Marielle Franco was one of a group of black women that you could literally count on one hand elected to public office in 2016. She was the voice of the people and the voice of black women, with whom she was surrounded by in the event she partipated in just hours before her murder. And the people came out by the thousands to bid her farewell. Check the story and see the photos below
Under applause and protests, the bodies of councilwoman and driver are buried in Rio
Courtesy of Agência Brasil, Bancários DF and Exame
Marielle Franco’s body was laid to rest late Thursday (15) afternoon, accompanied by applause, protests and tributes of relatives, friends and political leaders, at the Cemitério São Francisco Xavier, in Caju, of the zona portuária region of Rio de Janeiro. Initially planned for 4:00 p.m., burial was only performed at about 6:00 p.m.
The body of the driver Anderson Gomes, who drove the car that transported Marielle, was buried in the Inhaúma Cemetery, north of Rio, in the late afternoon. The ceremony also attracted a large number of friends and relatives. He left the wife and a 2 year old son. Anderson Gomes worked as a driver for the Uber application and provided occasional services for the councilwoman.
In the religious ceremony that preceded the burial of the alderwoman, the celebrant manifested indignation. “It is the killing of the poor, it is the slaughter of the black, the slaughter of those who fight,” the priest said.
Again and again, Marielle’s name was shouted by one, and everyone answered, “present.” As the wake had been in the afternoon in the City Hall, the ceremony in the cemetery was quick, and the press did not have access to the final part.
Marielle was killed with four gunshots in her head as she drove home in the Tijuca neighborhood, north of Rio, returning from an event linked to the black movement in Lapa. The councilwoman was in the backseat of the car, when the criminals’ vehicle pulled up to the car. They fired nine times killing Franco with four shots to the head and Gomes. An adviser in the car survived the attack.
The councilwoman was a resident of the Maré Complex and a human rights defender, who has frequently denounced violations of the rights of blacks, favelados (slum dwellers), women and LGBT people (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites, transsexuals and transgenders).
Capitals cities throughout Brazil take to the streets in protests in memory of slain councilwoman Marielle Franco
Several capitals are promoting demonstrations of mourning, protests and serious investigations into the death of Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco (Psol), who was shot dead on Wednesday night in the state capital. Anderson Pedro Gomes, 39, who was driving the car in which they were approached, was also executed.
In Brasilia, there was a demonstration at the Rodoviária do Plano Piloto in front of the National Congress. Both started at 5:00 p.m.
Starting from the Legislative Assembly of Rio, a march proceeded to Cinelandia, in the city’s downtown.
In São Paulo, there was a public event provoked by Franco’s Psol party took place in the open-air wing of the São Paulo Art Museum (Masp), on Avenida Paulista. In Belo Horizonte, the protest was in the Praça da Estação, in the downtown region of the Minas Gerais capital.
In Curitiba, an act was carried out on the stairs of the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), in the Praça Santos Andrade downtown.
In Porto Alegre, the concentration was in the Esquina Democrática, at the intersection of Avenida Borges de Medeiros at Rua da Praia.
Assassination of Marielle puts Brazil under international pressure
After the death of the PSOL councilor, the country was pointed out as the place with the greatest number of executions of human rights activists
Courtesy of Exame
The death of councilwoman Marielle Franco (PSOL-RJ) puts Brazil under pressure in the United Nations and in the international community, after being named the location with the largest number of executions of human rights activists.
The O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper found that Brazilian officials ignored sensitive UN reports of threats against at least 17 activists.
The information is part of confidential letters obtained by the newspaper. None were answered. Searching for the report, the Itamaraty, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry didn’t issue a statement.
“Over the past 15 years, Brazil has witnessed the largest number of killings of environmental and land activists worldwide, averaging one death per week. Indigenous peoples are especially threatened,” denounced the UN rapporteurs in a letter in 2017.
Now the UN demands that investigations be “independent and rigorous.” Other international entities, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Transparency International, also criticized the situation in the country and asked for responses to the execution.
There was still reaction in Europe. The Spanish party Podemos sent a letter to the European Commission demanding that the bloc condemn the crime and suspend trade negotiations around the free trade agreement between Europe and Mercosur (see note one).
The request was also made by other groups in the European Parliament, in particular the alliance of 52 euro deputies who make up the United European Left.
Several international media outlets echoed Marielle’s murder. Newspapers such as The Guardian (England), The New York Times (United States) and Le Monde (France) reproduced information about the crime on their websites.
The Spanish agency EFE also recalled the intervention of the Army in the public security of Rio de Janeiro and noted that the attack happened a day after the councilwoman again criticized the federal intervention in message on social networks. The information is from the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.
Mercosur (also known as Mercosul or Ñemby Ñemuha) is a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994. Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela is a full member but has been suspended since December 1, 2016. Associate countries are Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname.Observer countries are New Zealand and Mexico.Mercosur’s purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency. The official languages are Spanish, Portuguese, and Guarani. Source