RIO DE JANEIRO – Thousands of people in different cities across Brazil took to the streets on Tuesday to protest for justice and pay tribute to the Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes, who were murdered last week in that city.
Among around 30,000 people, gathered in the center of Rio, Anielle Silva, Franco’s sister, said in a protest named “Who killed Marielle?” that she “bears a grudge” against her sister’s death.
“I’m not going to rest until this is resolved. I’m a teacher. I have no political experience, but I’ve always fought for human rights, as my sister had,” Silva shouted in an emotional tribute to the councilor and activist.
Silva also denied, once again, the information that the councilor, affiliated with the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), was involved with “bandits,” after a judge published on social networks that Franco may have been associated with criminal factions and may have been married to a drug trafficker.
“Marielle was never a bandit. We were never financed by the drug traffickers and she never married a bandit. (They) will not be able to destroy everything my sister built,” Silva said.
After Judge Marilia Castro Neves said on social networks that the councilor “was involved with bandits” and “was not just a fighter,” the Brazilian National Justice Council complied with the PSOL’s complaint and opened an investigation on the judge’s conduct.
In addition to Rio, Brazilians also took to the streets in several other cities across the country to protest against the killing of Franco, who was murdered after the car that Gomes drove with her was followed and shot at with at least nine bullets.
An avid critic of the Brazilian Army’s intervention in Rio’s security matters and an active human rights defender, Franco had again denounced police violence just one day before she was murdered.