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Last Update: 9 Hour and 53 Minute ago
News code: 25065
Published Date: Monday 19 March 2018 - 11:56:37
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Brazilians protest murder of councilwoman, rights activist

Brazilians protest murder of councilwoman, rights activist
World  - At least 1,000 people marched in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday to protest the recent killing of Marielle Franco, a city councilwoman and human rights activist, according to The Associated Press.

Ms. Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were shot dead by assailants on Wednesday night while returning from an event focused on empowering young black women.

Ms. Franco had garnered attention for her role as a human-rights activist, arguing that the city's entrenched inequality and aggressive police culture were the cause of the violence that has afflicted Rio de Janeiro for generations.

Before her death, she had suggested on Twitter that the killing of a young man earlier that week had been the latest act of police brutality in the city.

In 2016, she was elected to the City Council, the only black female representative and one of seven women on the 51-seat Council.

"She broke barriers that many black women in the periphery thought were intractable," said Ilona Szabó, executive director of Igarapé Institute, which studies public safety policies. "She represented hope for so many women who never felt like they had a voice."

Ms. Franco's death came just a month after President Michel Temer of Brazil signed a decree giving the military wide-ranging power to try to make Rio de Janeiro safer. The councilwoman had been a vocal critic of Mr. Temer's order, believing it would further exacerbate violence without addressing the main issues.

According to The Associated Press, protesters convened in the Mare slum in Rio de Janeiro, where Ms. Franco grew up, before marching along Avenida Brasil, the main north-south artery through the city.

Several carried banners reading "Marielle and Anderson Present Today and Always" and images of the councilwoman. Others expressed their grief and frustration over Ms. Franco's death.

News Code: 25065
Published Date: Monday 19 March 2018 - 11:56:37
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