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Rio City Councillor Marielle Franco Assassinated in Drive-By Shooting

Brazilian politician and civil rights activist, Marielle Franco, was killed in a drive-by shooting, reports BBC. She was the Rio city councillor for the left-wing Socialism and Liberty Party. Franco used her voice to speak up against police violence and the military policing of the favelas (low-income neighborhoods) of Rio de Janeiro.

According to reports, the 38-year-old was shot dead in what is believed to have been a targeted attack. Franco was returning from a Black women’s empowerment event when two men in an adjacent vehicle opened fire into her car. Nine bullets were shot injuring the press officer and causing the death of Franco and her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes.

 

Her last tweets are about Black women feminists in the region. On Tuesday she openly posted about the alleged killing of a 23-year-old in the Manguinhos favela by military police.

“Another killing of a youth which could end up on the PM [military police] tally. Matheus Melo was leaving church. How many more will have to die before this war ends?” she asked.

Franco was a Black, LGBT woman who despite the limiting representation in Rio politics won her election in 2016 with the fifth-highest vote among council members. She was raised in a favela and did social work throughout many of the neighborhoods. This was only her first term.

There has been much outrage surrounding her killing and protests have been planned throughout Brazil in her honor, reports The Guardian.

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