Few political stars shone brighter in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, than city councilwoman Marielle Franco. Elected in 2016 by an overwhelming margin, Franco was using her platform to passionately criticize police brutality. Tragically, however, on March 15, 2018, she was the victim of a targeted shooting that took the lives of both her and her driver.
Franco lived an extraordinary life, and it was cut short far too soon.
From Rio's Voz da Comunidade, community-based ("favela") news service:— Vincent Bevins (@Vinncent) March 15, 2018
Marielle Franco was born and raised in the Complexo de Maré complex and became a mother at 19. At 37, she was elected to city council in the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSOL).https://t.co/KWV9ir9MQg
Marielle was a black, LGBT woman raised in one of Rio's poorest favelas, became a human rights activist, joined the socialist PSOL party, was elected in 2016 with a massive vote to Rio City Council. Among her primary work was police violence & extra-judicial murders. So horrible.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 15, 2018
This was no accident. Whoever did this wanted Franco dead.
https://t.co/BuiWdjS5N6— Adriana Somavilla (@adri_somavilla) March 15, 2018
"A city council member and her driver have been shot dead by two attackers on a downtown street in Rio de Janeiro in what appeared to be a targeted assassination."
Brazil is a democratic country, but only for those that don't speak up
She was fighting the good fight right up until the end.
Marielle Franco tweeted this one day before she was killed:— Vincent Bevins (@Vinncent) March 15, 2018
"One more young person killed that might be added to the list of military police victims. Matheus Melo was walking out of church. How many more people need to die before this war ends?"https://t.co/pVbjqm0fRd
She will be missed both as an individual and as an inspiring politician.
Brazil is the fifth most-populous country in the world, the largest democracy in South America. Rio is one of the world's great cities. Marielle's assassination, in the midst of her work against police corruption & murders, has major ramifications. And she was extraordinary. https://t.co/dMfGGZQ0ky— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 15, 2018
Every now and then you meet someone in politics that makes you believe that the whole thing is worth it, despite all the dirt and decay and corruption that drowns it, that it can actually improve things for people. @mariellefranco was one of those people - for so many. #RIP pic.twitter.com/JJtXnkgrlJ— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 15, 2018
Franco was a vibrant part of the the city of Rio.
Rio's city council is a launchpad for budding politicians in Brazil. It's a gateway for diverse viewpoints, like the leftist activism of Marielle Franco, or the right-wing views of prez candidate Jair Bolsonaro's son. Franco's murder may sadly have a chilling effect on new voices— Shannon Sims (@shannongsims) March 15, 2018
She was also a person who so clearly believed Rio was worth saving & could be different - so critically demoralizing to lose her at a moment when the fate of the city is so starkly in question - now more than ever— Stephanie Nolen (@snolen) March 15, 2018
People are devastated by the politician's death.
Protests and demonstrations in her honor have been planned throughout the country. Though her life ended far too soon, people will continue to draw inspiration from Franco and carry on in her footsteps.
Rest in power.