Marielle Franco was trying to bring serious change to Brazil. The 38-year-old activist, who was elected to office in 2016 as part of the leftist Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), was outspoken about police brutality and introduced bills to spark advocacy campaigns about sexual violence and the incarceration of Black youth. She also was one of many young Black Brazilians who were rising up inside and outside statehouses, as well as one of only six women on Rio’s 51-person city council. She was assassinated on March 14, 2018.
Bustle.com reports, she “attended and live-tweeted a panel of young, Black female speakers about creating more structural opportunity for Black women. She left the event with a press officer and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. In the middle of their drive, two men in a separate vehicle reportedly approached and shot a gun into their car nine times. Franco and Gomes were killed. The press officer, who sat in the back, survived.”
TeleSUR also reports, “Her death was confirmed by councilman Tarcisio Motta (PSOL), who said that ‘several indications point to an execution.’”
France lived in Favela da Maré, an impoverished community in Rio, and she was a constant defender of human rights. The day before she was killed, the activist spoke out about Brazil’s military police. See the tweet below:
The tweet translates to, “Another murder of a young man who may be entering the PM’s account. Matthew Manu was leaving the church. How many more will have to die for this war to end?”
Franco is being mourned and honored on social media.
Rest in power, Marielle Franco.