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News > Latin America

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

  • Prominent Brazilian human rights activist and leftist councilwoman Marielle Franco was assassinated on March 15.

    Prominent Brazilian human rights activist and leftist councilwoman Marielle Franco was assassinated on March 15. | Photo: #MidiaNINJA

Published 4 May 2018

The public security cameras belong to Rio de Janeiro's Security Department.

Five public security cameras en route to Marielle Franco's home were turned off 24 to 48 hours before her assassination. The cameras, which all belong to Rio de Janeiro's Security Department, were mounted on street posts and buildings with one of the cameras located at Estacio Metro Station a short distance away from where the Black activist and Councilwoman was murdered.

Brazilian Rights Activist Marielle Franco Assassinated in Rio

The Estacio Metro Station camera, according to Extra, records 360 degrees images and transmits those images to the Integrated Center of Command and Control if the cameras were operational they could have assisted in the ongoing investigations.

Three days before she was murdered on March 15, 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.

Marielle, along with her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was 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."

Though her murder remains unsolved, investigators have revealed that the 9mm bullets that killed Marielle were part of a lot bought by federal police in 2006.

Two witnesses to the execution said a silver Cobalt car brushed up against Marielle's vehicle at a curve near Joaquim Palhares and Joao Paulo streets, according to Globo. As Marielle's vehicle slowed down, a passenger in the Cobalt's back seat lowered its tinted window and fired at least nine 9mm bullets from a long-muzzled firearm. Both witnesses said the sound of the gunshots were suppressed, “as if it had a silencer.”

Brazil: Black Activists Plan Community Security Measures After Marielle's Execution

One of the witnesses also affirmed that policemen from the 4th Military Police Battalion asked everybody who was at the scene of the crime to go home, “find something to do,” except for Marielle's assistant, who was also in the councilwoman's car and was the sole survivor of the attack.

Raised in the Mare favela complex, a community that's home to approximately 140,000 residents, Marielle's murder took place one month after a military intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro, which is focused on poor, mostly Black communities. Soldiers have occupied Mare, again, as they did for over a year between 2014 and 2015, as part of the Brazilian government's military intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro since Feb. 16.

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