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Police Have Arrested One of Two Prime Suspects In the Killing of Marielle Franco

Both suspects have been linked to Brazil's far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

Authorities in Brazil are one step closer to brining the men responsible for the killing of Afro-Brazilian councilwoman Marielle Franco, in March of last year, to justice The Intercept reports.

According to a police report obtained by the publication, six witnesses gave statements identifying an ex-officer—who was previously expelled from the city's Military Police Force after it was found that he had ties to one of Rio's largest organized crime groups—as one of the men responsible for the death of Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes.

After being withheld by investigators for months, the main suspects' names were released on Tuesday. Adriano Magalhães da Nóbregais is believed to be a hired assassin and the leader of the Office of Crime for a militia that controls the Rio das Pedras neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. He remains at large, according to Broadly.

Ronald Paulo Alves Pereira, another Military Police Officer and militia commander has been arrested in connection to the murder, according to a report from Brazilian publication G1, which shared photos of Pereira being taken into custody on Tuesday.

READ: A Black Woman In Power


Special units executed arrest warrants for 13 men on Tuesday related to their involvement in organized crime—five of this listed were suspected of aiding in the assassination.

Both Nóbrega and Pereira are said to have ties to Brazil's current far-right president President Jair Bolsonaro, through his oldest son senator-elect Flávio Bolsonaro, who has strongly denied any involvement. "I cannot be held accountable for the behavior of someone I do not know, whose actions have only been reported now by this organization," he wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. However, both Nóbrega and Pereira were given the State Assembly's highest honor in 2003 and 2004, respectively, under nomination from Flávio Bolsonaro.

Last May, security minister Raul Jungmann, confirmed reports that a councilman and a member of one of Rio's underground militias were prime suspects in the killings.

"The Marielle Franco case is indeed close to an ending," Blavity quotes Rio's Governor Wilson Witzel as saying. "I can't legally look at the documents, which are sealed. But the information that I have is that the [arrest] of the criminals involved could happen still in January."

Despite, what appears like, a dedication to nailing the perpetrators on Witzel's part, the governor's motives have been brought into question, as noted in The Intercept. Last year he was photographed standing on stage with two candidates who had proudly broken a street sign honoring Franco in half.

Franco, who dedicated her life to fighting for black people in the city's favelas and members of the LGBTQ community, will be honored by one of Rio's foremost Samba Schools at Brazil's carnival this year.

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6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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