Marielle Franco: politician's murder sparks mass protests in Brazil

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Franco, 38, and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were killed Wednesday night when two men in a auto fired nine shots into her vehicle, according to the Associated Press.

Protests have been held across Brazil after councillor and activist Marielle Franco and her driver were shot dead in a suspected assassination.

Reports say two men in a auto drew up alongside her vehicle, opened fire, and sped away.

(Rio de Janeiro) - Brazilian authorities should ensure a prompt, thorough, and independent investigation into the killing of a human rights defender and her driver in Rio de Janeiro, Human Rights Watch said today.

In the last few days, she had posted several tweets about killings by the police in Rio de Janeiro. Many of those who took to the streets say that they hope that these two deaths will promote a national movement, just as U.S. students in Parkland, Florida formed a movement to protest against lenient gun laws after the shooting at one of the district's high school last month. "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 marginalized communities", said Jurema Werneck, Amnesty International's Brazil director. "Meanwhile, the military intervention (in Rio de Janeiro state) search book sacks of kids who live in favelas".

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She was particularly known for speaking out against police violence and for social work in the poorest areas of a city, where Brazil's army has been responsible for policing since February after a surge in violence.

In city council elections in 2016 she surprised everyone, including herself, by getting 46,000 votes, the fifth biggest tally of anyone running.

Franco was also a a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSOL), and recently accused a slew of police officials of being excessively violent when searching homes in slums that were controlled by gangs.

Instead of turning her back on politics, she embraced it. Franco earned a diploma from one of the country's most prestigious universities before jumping into the national debate and then into electoral politics. "Matheus Melo was walking out of church". This week two young men were killed ...

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated that the investigation "must be transparent and credible and that the perpetrators of the crime should be brought to justice".

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A day before she was killed, Franco asked on Twitter how many more deaths would be necessary for the situation to improve.

Police are investigating whether the killing of Franco - a police critic - was a targeted hit.

Temer issued a statement yesterday saying that Public Security Minister Raul Jungmann had discussed Franco's killing with the general in charge of the Rio military operation, "and made the federal police available to assist".

"The climate of near total impunity in Rio de Janeiro needs to end once and for all", Canineu said.

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