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News > Brazil

Brazil Moves Towards Solving the Marielle Franco Murder

  • Marielle Franco.

    Marielle Franco. | Photo: Twitter/ @choquei

Published 24 July 2023

Investigations show strong links to far-right vigilante groups that fight for control of drug trafficking in Rio de Janeiro.

On Monday, the investigation into the murder of leftist councilor Marielle Franco entered a new phase after the confession of one of the perpetrators and the arrest of a new suspect.


Marielle Franco Murder to Be Investigated Again

"We are close to clarifying all aspects related to this barbaric crime", Justice Minister Flavio Dino said at a press conference attended by Federal Police Director Andrei Rodrigues.

Brazilian authorities have arrested a former firefighter for his role in the shooting death of Marielle Franco and the driver Anderson Gomes on the night of March 14, 2018.

Investigations to date have indicated strong links to far-right vigilante groups fighting for control of drug trafficking and other illicit activities in Rio de Janeiro.

The tweet refers to a photograph of former President Jair Bolsonaro with his supporters in Rio de Janeiro. To the left of the photo and squatting is Roni Lessa, the militiaman and neighbor of Bolsonaro in a condominium in Barra da Tijuca. He was arrested and charged with the death of councilwoman Marielle Franco.

The person arrested is Maxwell Simoes Correa, who had already been sentenced in 2021 to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Franco case. This Brazilian citizen, however, was serving his sentence in an open regime.

According to Rodrigues, the ex-firefighter had an important role before the murder as he monitored the councilwoman's routine and hid evidence after the crime.

His arrest is the result of a collaboration agreement with the justice system signed by Elcio Queiroz, a former police officer arrested in 2019 and accused of being one of the material authors of the crime.

Before being shot dead, Marielle Franco became a symbol of the Brazilians' fight against racism, gender discrimination, and the violation of human rights by the police in the poor neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro.

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