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Brazil: 2 Ex-Police Officers Arrested over Murder of Marielle Franco

HeadlineMar 13, 2019

In Brazil, police have arrested two former police officers suspected of murdering human rights activist and city councilmember Marielle Franco last March. The drive-by shooting in downtown Rio de Janeiro also killed her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. Ronnie Lessa is believed to have shot Franco and her co-passengers, while Élcio Vieira de Queiroz drove the pair’s getaway car. After news broke of the arrest, a photo appearing to show Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Queiroz circulated on social media.

Franco, who was black and a vocal member of the LGBT community, was a longtime critic of Brazil’s police, who have been linked to hundreds of killings and thousands of incidents of brutality in Rio’s impoverished favela neighborhoods. Mass demonstrations are planned for Thursday, marking the first anniversary of Franco’s death.

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