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News > Brazil

Marielle Franco Was Murdered for Political Reasons: Lewandowski

  • Marielle Franco.

    Marielle Franco. | Photo: X/ @mariozinholago

Published 25 March 2024

Brazilian politicians, officials, and former officers linked to far-right militias ordered her murder.

On Sunday, Brazilian Justice Minister Ricardo Lewandowski confirmed that political motivations were behind the assassination of councilwoman Marielle Franco in 2018.


Justice For Marielle Franco: Detained Masterminds of Her Murder

"We are very clear about who carried out and who ordered this hateful act, which was a politically motivated crime," he said at a press conference.

His statements came after the police arrested federal legislator Jose Brazao, his brother Domingos Brazao, who is an official from the Rio de Janeiro Court of Accounts; and Rivaldo Barbosa, the former chief of the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police.

The Federal Police determined that they were in conflict with Franco due to her actions against attempts by mafia groups to take over public lands for their real estate operations.

"In the municipal chamber, Marielle and her group strongly defended the right to housing, cadastral regularization, and the social use of the lands coveted by these mafias," Lewandowski said, referring to the far-right militias operated by former police officers in Rio.

"Everything was against what these mafia groups, with strong political ties, wanted," said Federal Police Director Andrei Rodrigues, who led the investigations.

As far as the Federal Police is concerned, the Franco's murder investigation has concluded. However, Rodrigues did not rule out conducting further inquiries if new elements emerge.

The text reads, "Fantastico's report on the arrest of Domingos Brazao, advisor to the Court of Accounts; Chiquinho Brazao, federal lawmaker; and Rivaldo Barbosa, former head of the Civil Police of Rio, the intellectual authors of the murders of Marielle Franco and Anderson."

The Socialism and Liberty Party councilwoman was 38 years old when she was killed. She dedicated her life to defending human rights and combating the far-right criminal groups that control dozens of slums ("favelas") in Rio de Janeiro.

The preventive detention of the alleged masterminds was ordered by the Brazilian Supreme Court, which has been overseeing the investigation since mid-2023. Previously, it remained virtually paralyzed for five years in the courts of Rio de Janeiro.

Minister Lewandowski also indicated that the three detainees obstructed the investigation while the judicial process was pending in that Brazilian city.

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