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  • Mônica Benício, the partner of Marielle Franco (L), along with David Miranda (R), a journalist and Rio councilman.

    Mônica Benício, the partner of Marielle Franco (L), along with David Miranda (R), a journalist and Rio councilman. | Photo: Twitter

Published 8 May 2018
Opinion

The powerful petition spoke of Franco's fearless spirit and her relentless pursuit of social justice for Black people residing in low-income neighborhoods.

As Marielle Franco's partner heads to OAS to urge the organization to create an independent commission to investigate her case, while at home her legacy lives on as Rio De Janeiro City council members passed six of the seven bills she proposed before her assassination in the first round of votes last week.

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Brazil: Public Security Cameras En Route to Marielle Franco's Home Turned Off Before Assassination

Some of the bills passed include projects such as PL 555/2017 which creates a dossier of social assistance data for Carioca women, along with other policies for women of Rio de Janeiro, and health, along with the creation of public policies for women.

Along with another project, PL 17/2017, which will create the program for effective educational measures in open environment for juvenile offenders and ensures that young people can meet the judicial determinations imposed.

The PL 72/2017, which was placed to mark a day against homophobia was postponed. Meanwhile PL 103/2017, which includes marking the day of Thereza de Benguela, an 18th-century Quilombo leader, in the official calendar of the city of Rio de Janeiro to mark the celebration of the Black woman's achievements.

Mônica Benício, the partner of Marielle Franco, along with David Miranda, a journalist and Rio councilman are set to take a strong-worded petition signed by nearly 20,000 people to the Organization of American States, OAS, this week to demand a thorough investigation into Franco's assassination by creating an independent commission.

"Given that Marielle's assassination bears all the hallmarks of a targeted assassination, we call for the creation of an independent commission comprised of prominent and respected national and international human rights and legal experts and tasked with carrying out an independent investigation of the murder of Marielle Franco with the full cooperation of state judicial and police authorities," the petition pointed out.

Franco, a rising Black advocate for the LGBT rights in Brazil with Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), was shot dead in a car on the Joaquim Palhares Street, in the Central Region of Rio, on March 14.  

Some of the known figures from around the world have signed the petition including Indian author, Arundhati Roy,  Angela Davis, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Filmmaker Ava Duverney, Noam Chomsky, and Ta Nehisi Coates.

"There were over 20000 signatures demanding to know who had killed Marielle Franco and why. Me and Monica, Marielle's widow, we are on our way to the Organization of American States in the Dominican Republic to demand that this barbaric crime be solved!" David Miranda tweeted.

The powerful petition also spoke of Franco's fearless spirit and her relentless pursuit of social justice for Black people residing in low-income neighborhoods and favelas which led to her assassination.

The killing of the 38-year-old activist, known for her outspokenness about police brutality against favela residents, has left several communities in Brazilian cities of Recife, Belem, Salvador, Natal, Sao Paulo, enraged where people have protested her assassination, demanding answers from the government.

"Marielle's activism earned her many powerful enemies. She vehemently challenged the impunity surrounding extrajudicial killings of Black youth by security forces and, two days before her killing [she] had denounced the police's role in the killing of a young Black man named Matheus Melo. She was a leading critic of the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro and was the head of a city commission tasked with monitoring the intervention," the petition stated.  

"We are deeply concerned and shocked by this commando-style killing of a woman who was a voice for the voiceless and a symbol of resistance to state-perpetrated violence, militarization, and anti-democratic forces."  

Franco was raised and lived in Mare, a complex of favelas where about 130,000 residents who now must contend with the presence of Rio's two most powerful gangs, the Red Command and the Pure Third Command, along with militias often made up of off-duty or retired police and fireman, who are as feared as the gangs.

Shortly before her death, Marielle asked: "How many others will have to die before this war will end."

"We call for justice for Marielle Franco and the daughter and the partner she leaves behind, and for an end to the killings and criminalization of activists, government opponents and low-income people in Brazil," the petition concluded.. 

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