News Brief

Rio Police Say They Are 'Ramping Up Efforts' To Find Marielle Franco's Killers

Authorities indicate the investigation into the assassination of the popular Black Brazilian politician and activist is in its final stage.

Rio police say they are closing in on who killed Marielle Francothe high-profile Rio de Janeiro politician and activist who was assassinated on March 14, AFP reports.


Officials also say they are "ramping up efforts" to find Franco's killers, after going over two months without announcing significant progress. "The investigation is entering its final stage," Raul Jungmann, security minister, says to news site noticias.UOL. "I believe that we'll soon have results."

AFP says Jungmann also confirmed media reports that the suspects include a Rio city councilor and a jailed commander of one of the city's underground militias.

Officers from Rio's homicide department prepared a reenactment of the assassination Thursday, that was captured on Globo television, for ballistics analysis.

Franco's assassination was a huge shock to Brazil and the world—as it sparked demonstrations against Rio's surging violence, as well as peaked the global black community to learn more about the struggles of police brutality black Brazilians have been fighting against.

Colleagues suspect the motive of her assassination was due to her angering police and the militias, as she became a prominent critic of police violence in Rio, especially calling out the targeting of black people in the city's favelas.

Local media also quoted an unidentified police informant this week, saying he knew the murder was masterminded by the city councilor and militia leader who Jungmann also referred to. The informant also says the councilor and militia commander ordered Franco's killing because of her human rights activism in the violent west of Rio, a militia stronghold, AFP says.

Koleka Putuma by Iskeem Semincibi.

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(Youtube)

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Veteran Ethiopian Political Activist Mesfin Woldemariam Has Died

The founder of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, Professor Mesfin Woldemariam, has died from COVID-19 complications at age 90.