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  • Police operative for the arrest of Maxwell Simones Correia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 10, 2020.

    Police operative for the arrest of Maxwell Simones Correia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 10, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @correio

Published 10 June 2020
Opinion

She was murdered due to her brave fight against racist police brutality in Rio de Janeiro.

The Public Prosecution Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro (MPRJ) Wednesday ordered the arrest of firefighter Maxwell Simoes Correa who has been accused of being involved in the murder of the Socialist councilor Marielle Franco and her driver on March 14, 2018.

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Brazil: Marielle Franco’s Murder Suspects to Trial

According to police investigations, Correa and four other people were denounced for trying to hide the weapons used in the crime with clear political motives. Correia is a friend of police officer Ronnie Lessa, who is in prison accused of being the direct executor of the murders.

Since 2018, Franco's murder has generated shock in Brazil because she was leading a citizen investigation against the extrajudicial killings by police and paramilitaries, a type of illegal activity that has been historically related to the far-right in this South American country.

“So far four suspects have been arrested for the murder, all with ties to state security forces, and two of them with links to the family of recently elected right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro,” the Working Class History (WCH) web page recalled on March 14, 2019.

"Bolsonaro, glorifying dictatorship, the torture state and extrajudicial violence by police and paramilitaries rose that crest to power and in turn it is what continues to keep him there," Georgetown University Professor Ananya Chakravarti tweeted, adding that "Franco bore the brunt of the backlash for her fight against racist police brutality."

In an event prior to today's police operation, former special forces police captain Adriano da Nobrega, who commanded a gang of hired killers involved in the murder of Councilor Franco, was gunned down by police on February 9.

He was hiding on a country property owned by a councilman from the Social Liberal Party, one of the right-wing organizations that helped Bolsonaro reach the presidency in 2018.

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