Family members of slain Black activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco have requested state protection due to repeated threats and hate speech. The request was submitted to the State Secretary of Security, Richard Nunes, Monday, during a meeting at the Integrated Center of Command and Control (CICC).
“Me and Monica (Benicio, Marielle's widow) have been threatened from the very start (of the investigations), ever since we took the lead in speaking out," said Marielle's younger sister Anielle da Silva.
“We walk the streets, and somebody says something or follows us. There's no way for us to tell, indeed, if somebody is armed. But we are victims of online and personal hate speech.”
Da Silva went on to state that her family has “requested that cautionary measures be taken, at least some degree of protection during our day to day activity, because our lives continue, going to work every day, bringing kids to school. So, we want protection for our entire family. We have nothing at present.”
Marielle's mother, Marinete da Silva, her father, Antonio Francisco da Silva, and the executive director of Amnesty International Brasil, Jurema Werneck, were also present at the meeting.
“General Richard told us that the Federal Police, from the very beginning, has collaborated with the investigations and the secretary has placed no restrictions in relation to their support participation in the investigation,” Werneck said. She concluded, however, that general Nunes expressed “confidence in the team leading the investigation in Rio de Janeiro.”
Marielle and her driver, Anderson Gomes, were executed in a barrage of bullets at her car while returning home from an event in central Rio de Janeiro called "Young Black Women Moving Structures" on March 15.
Three days before she was murdered, Marielle denounced the deaths of two youths during a military police operation in the Acari favela.
“We must speak loudly so that everybody knows what is happening in Acari right now. The 41st Military Police Battalion of Rio de Janeiro is terrorizing and violating Acari residents. This week two youths were killed and tossed in a ditch. Today, the police walked the streets threatening residents. This has always happened, and with the military intervention things have gotten worse,” she wrote on Twitter.
Also, two weeks earlier Franco was named a rapporteur in the special commission established by the city council to monitor the military intervention in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Investigators have revealed that the 9mm bullets that killed Marielle were part of a lot bought by federal police in 2006.