Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Marielle Franco’s assassins must be brought to justice

On March 14, Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Pedro Gomez were murdered in cold blood after leaving an event promoting Afro-Brazilian women’s civil rights. Marielle was a Black, queer, feminist member of the Party for Socialism and Freedom (PSOL) who served on the Rio de Janeiro city council. Marielle’s murder bears all the marks of a professional hit and comes in the immediate wake of her speaking out against police brutality and the Brazilian military’s direct intervention into the streets of Rio.

On March 10, Marielle publicized the complaints of residents of the Acari favela against the 41st police battalion, writing “This week, two young people were killed and thrown into a pit. Today, the police threatened the inhabitants. It has always happened but it got worse with the [military] intervention.”

Four days later, her car was riddled with bullets.

As Marielle served as the head of the Rio de Janeiro’s city commission monitoring the military’s intervention, her assassination must not be permitted to cast a chill on democratic liberties such as freedom of expression and the right to assemble.

We condemn Marielle’s murder in the strongest possible terms and demand those responsible be brought to justice. We include in this demand both the thugs who pulled the triggers and those who gave the orders.

We hold Brazilian President Michel Temer, Rio de Janeiro state Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão, President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia, and Gen. Braga Neto (who oversees the military intervention in Rio) responsible for this crime. They have militarized the streets of Rio and pursued on-going attacks on basic democratic freedoms which have, at the very least, created the conditions in which this despicable act occurred.

We also hold these officials responsible for the personal safety of Marielle’s family and friends, her fellow party members in PSOL, and all civil rights, labor, LGBTQ, feminist, and anti-racist organizers who worked alongside of her in pursuit of justice and equality.

As organizations based in the United States of America, we further pledge to publicize Marielle’s murder and to demand our government cut off all military, intelligence, and police funding for the Brazilian government until all those responsible for Marielle’s assassination are brought to justice.

Signed,

Democratic Socialists of America
International Socialist Organization
Left Roots
Philly Socialists
Socialist Alternative
Solidarity

Media contact JusticeForMarielle gmail.com


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