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Photo: Mídia NINJA

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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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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Image courtesy of Trap Bob.

Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Convener of "#Revolution Now" Omoyele Sowore speaks during his arraignment for charges against the government at the Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 30, 2019. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nigerian Activist, Omoyele Sowore, Re-Arrested Just Hours After Being Released on Bail

Sowore, the organizer of Nigeria's #RevolutionNow protests, was detained by armed officers, once again, in court on Friday.

Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian human rights activist and former presidential candidate who has spent over four months in jail under dubious charges, was re-arrested today in Lagos while appearing in court.

The journalist and founder of New York-based publication Sahara Reporters, had been released on bail the day before. He was arrested following his organization of nationwide #RevolutionNow protests in August. Since then, Sowore has remained in custody on what are said to be trumped-up charges, including treason, money laundering and stalking the president.

He appeared in court once again on Friday after being released on bail in federal court the previous day. During his appearance, Sowore was again taken into custody by Nigerian authorities.

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