She was young, black, a left activist, anti-racist, ecologist, feminist supporting the cause of indigenous peoples, a daughter of the favelas. Brazil’s forces of repression tried to snuff out the voice of the oppressed this Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 9:30 pm by killing Marielle Franco. The symbolism of the assassination and its message of terror is all the clearer as it took place the day after the opening of the World Social Forum in Rio. As if to make sure her voice was permanently extinguished, the killers gave her four bullets to the head and riddled her driver, Anderson Gomes, with bullets.
Marielle was Rio’s municipal councilor for the Socialist and Liberty Party (PSOL, left). She strongly denounced police abuses in the favelas, the police forces she described as “death battalions”. Among other things, she denounced the excesses of the Police Pacification Unit (UPP), set up to subdue the people of the favelas. Marielle was appointed to a commission that was preparing to investigate the military violence and abuse by the armed forces in Rio di Janeiro and planned to set up an observatory.
“Marielle was appointed rapporteur of the parliamentary committee of municipal councilors looking into the federal intervention. (…) She had just written her master’s thesis: “UPP: the favela beyond three letters”, reports a spokesperson for the NGO Amnesty International. (Le Monde | 16.03.2018 at 11:14 • Updated 17.03.2018 at 06:40) By Claire Gatinois (Sao Paulo, Correspondent)
Shot dead at the age of 38, Marielle embodies the unstoppable rise of the oppressed, the voiceless people that murderers’ bullets will never extinguish or muzzle. This cowardly and villainous assassination reminds us that we are living in an historic time marked by the return of fascism, racism, xenophobia … This abject killing opens our eyes to the true nature of globalized capitalism and calls us to be vigilant and to mobilize in order to preserve the few gains we’ve made and to fight for a just, equal and equitable world.
We, Women of Diverse Origins (WDO-FDO), add our voices to those of our Brazilian sisters and comrades in denouncing this vile and barbarous assassination and call for a prompt investigation followed by justice. WDO expresses its solidarity to her family and friends and to the progressive forces of Brazil.
From Rio to Montreal, same struggle, same fight!
Long live the united struggle of peoples against reactionary forces!