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Wed Mar 13, 2019, 10:42 PM

A year after murder of trailblazing Rio politician, two shocking arrests, and a legacy of change



Vigils and demonstrations to remember Marielle Franco, the Rio city councillor brutally murdered a year ago, are planned across Brazil for March 14 − many of them to be led by a new generation of female Afro-Brazilian politicians whose emergence in the past year may be Ms. Franco’s greatest legacy.

On Tuesday, with just two days to go before the anniversary, Rio state prosecutors charged two former police officers with killing Ms. Franco and her driver in a drive-by shooting that stunned Brazilians. But even as they announced the arrests of the two men, investigators conceded they were “no closer” to answering the larger question of who ordered the assassination of Ms. Franco, a rising star of Brazil’s political left.

. . .

In the intervening year, Ms. Franco has become a symbol of resistance and political change; graffiti images of her face are all over the country, along with the phrase “Marielle Presente” − Marielle is here − the slogan she used in her campaign to tell voters from traditionally marginalized communities that she was listening and would work for them.

The two men charged in her killing, Ronnie Lessa and Elcio Vieira de Queiroz, are former police officers. The two are allegedly part of the shadowy network of ex-law-enforcement officers, known as militia, that controls large parts of Rio, and have close ties to some in the right-wing political establishment. On city council, Ms. Franco pushed for an investigation into militia activity and their connection with the police force.


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Reply A year after murder of trailblazing Rio politician, two shocking arrests, and a legacy of change (Original post)
Judi Lynn Mar 13 OP
Judi Lynn Mar 13 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 10:45 PM

1. Inescapable facts known so far, from the article:

Mr. Lessa lives in the same beachside gated complex where the President lived until he moved to Brasilia late last year, but on Wednesday, Mr. Bolsonaro told reporters that he had no memory of every meeting Mr. Lessa. Police also said that one of Mr. Bolsonaro’s sons − Carlos, a Rio city-council member, according to Brazilian media reports − dated Mr. Lessa’s daughter; the President said his son told him he “dated all the girls in the complex.” A 2011 photograph reportedly taken from a now-deleted Facebook account belonging to Mr. de Queiroz appears to show him arm in arm with Mr. Bolsonaro; the President said he had been photographed with hundreds of police in the course of his political life.

A second Bolsonaro son, Flavio, now a federal senator, is under investigation for money laundering during his time as a Rio state congress member; prosecutors are investigating why family members of the leader of an infamous Rio militia were on the payroll of his office.

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