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Outrage after black politician Marielle Franco shot dead

R.I.P: Marielle Franco

CROWDS HAVE gathered in the streets in Rio de Janeiro and other cities throughout Brazil to remember and express outrage at the killing of progressive politician Marielle Franco.

The 38-year-old councillor was known for her strong criticism of Brazil’s police abuses and extrajudicial executions, her work to support favela communities and her women’s and LGBT rights advocacy.

On Wednesday night, two men fired nine shots from their vehicle into the car that Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were in, killing them both, according to Reuters.

The drive-by shooting happened in Rio de Janeiro’s Estacio neighbourhood. A press officer was also in the back of Franco’s car but survived.

Franco’s death is believed to be a targeted assassination.

BRAZIL: Marielle Franco was known for her support of favela communities

Amnesty International have expressed condemnation at the councillor’s murder and called for the authorities to investigate the fatal shootings.

Jurema Werneck, Amnesty International’s Brazil director, said: “This a chilling development and is yet another example of the dangers that human rights defenders face in Brazil. As a member of Rio de Janeiro’s State Human Rights Commission, Marielle worked tirelessly to defend the rights of black women and young people in the favelas and other marginalised communities.”

Franco was elected to Rio de Janeiro’s city council in 2016.

One of her most recent tweets highlighted the murder of a young man in the Manguinhos favela. “Another homicide of a young man that could be credited to the police. Matheus Melo was leaving church when he was killed. How many others will have to die for this war to end?” she tweeted.

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