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Death, Tragedy and Hope in Rio de Janeiro

Death, Tragedy and Hope in Rio de Janeiro

Her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was also killed when two unknown attackers fired an estimated nine shots into their vehicle, silencing one of Brazil's emerging voices for the underprivileged.

In Rio, a huge crowd of people marched to the Rio state assembly to protest the death of Franco, who was born and raised in the Mare slum complex, one of the most violent district in the Brazil's second largest city.

Ms Franco was returning from an event encouraging black women's empowerment in central Rio when a auto drew alongside hers and nine shots rang out.

Karol Balfe, Head of From Violence to Peace at Christian Aid, said: "Christian Aid strongly condemns this week's killings of human rights defenders in Brazil, which are a chilling indictment of the grave threats faced by those speaking out against injustice".

"The path of her own fight is what gives us the strength to carry on", said Danielle Ramos, 26, who was attending a rally in Rio de Janeiro in front of the city council building, along with thousands of others. Many of those who took to the streets say that they hope that these two deaths will promote a national movement, just as United States students in Parkland, Florida formed a movement to protest against lenient gun laws after the shooting at one of the district's high school last month.

As a young, black, favela-bred lesbian woman activist, she championed several underrepresented demographics in Brazil's institutional politics and was beloved by activists across the country.

"One more homicide of a young man who may be coming in for the PM's account..."

Ms. Franco's death comes amid rising criticism of the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro.

She was the only black female representative and one of seven women on the 51-seat city council, according to the New York Times. Franco, part of a commission to oversee the military intervention, harshly criticised the move on Sunday, saying it could worsen police violence against residents. In 2016, she received the fifth most votes among council members elected.

"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.

An expert on police violence [Guardian report], Franco was critical of the police and their alleged killings of innocent victims during interactions with drug gangs.

"Matheus Melo was leaving the church". "This week two youth were killed and tossed into a ditch". He delayed a previously-scheduled event at the presidential palace to hold a cabinet meeting on Rio's security, and said the federal police was willing to help with the investigations.

Christian Aid has condemned this week's killings of human rights defenders in Brazil and called for urgent inquiries into their deaths.

"The climate of near total impunity in Rio de Janeiro needs to end once and for all", Canineu said.


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