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News > Brazil

Brazil: Four Suspects Arrested for Marielle Franco's Murder

  • Mural depicting late leftist activist Marielle Franco at the Sao Carlos Federal University, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Oc. 4, 2019.

    Mural depicting late leftist activist Marielle Franco at the Sao Carlos Federal University, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Oc. 4, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @MoscaNaOrelha

Published 4 October 2019

For the second time this year, President Jair Bolsonaro appeared smiling in photo alongside a another murder suspect.

Brazil's police on Thursday detained four suspects that wer accused of participating in the killing of Rio de Janeiro's councilwoman Marielle Franco, a leftist and human rights activist who was carrying out an investigation on police brutality in her city's slums (favelas).


Murdered Activist Marielle Franco Nominated For Sakharov Prize

She was killed on March 14, 2018, after leaving a political event in support of young black women. This crime shocked Brazil, a country in which social leaders have been victims of far-right paramilitary organizations since the 1960s.

In addition to being charged with murder, the four detainees must respond to crimes related to justice obstruction, illegal carrying of weapons, criminal association and concealment of evidence, all of which could see them facing three and eight years in prison.

Since last year, progressive movements and parties have repeatedly stated that there are some "missing" clues to the murder which could lead to top members of the Brazilian ruling class.

On October 2nd, The Intercept Brazil journalist Glenn Greenwald leaked a new photo of President Jair Bolsonaro with one of those involved in the murder of Councilor Franco.

"A martial arts instructor was arrested today in connection with the 2018 assassination of Marielle Franco. He has a photo with Bolsonaro. The ex-policeman arrested months ago who pulled the trigger also did. He lived near Bolsonaro's house and his daughter dated Bolsonaro's son,” Glenn tweeted.

"All the members of the gang, which killed Marielle Franco, have photos with Bolsonaro or were employed by one of Bolsonaro's sons. Draw your own conclusions."

The meme reads, "Police today arrested more members of the gang that murdered Marielle Franco. Among them is Josinaldo Freitas who would have been in charge of discarding the crime weapons. He is the guy on the left." [On the right is Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro]

The U.S. journalist, who also leaked information showing that far-right judges plotted to accuse Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and take him to jail, challenged supporters of the Brazilian President by writing “tic-tac”, an expression whereby Glenn suggested that Bolsonaro's time is about to arrive.​​​​​​​

“It was the second time the President has been photographed alongside a suspect in Brazil’s most high-profile political murder in a decade,” the British outlet The Guardian commented.

“In March, a photo of Bolsonaro with Elcio Vieira de Queiroz, a former policeman accused of driving the car used in Franco’s killing, circulated on social media.”

When this photograph was discovered by the media, the former captain who became a president said: "I have photos with thousands of police from all over Brazil," as local media Veja recalled.

Similar "deep" explanations were given when it was discovered that one of those involved in Marielle's murder had lived in the same closed luxury neighborhood where the Bolsonaro clan resides.

"Flavio Bolsonaro, Brazilian senator and son of the President, had hired until Nov. 2018 both the mother and wife of the main suspect in the Franco murder," El Diario recalled.

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