Brazil’s current era of widespread polarization, often descending into hatred, has a few prime flash points. Among them was the assassination of left-wing Rio de Janeiro City Councillor Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, in March 2018.
Over 1,000 days have now passed since this crime, which shocked Brazil at the beginning of what was an immensely turbulent 2018. Though investigations began two and a half years ago, police are still no closer to determining who ordered Marielle Franco’s murder. Meanwhile, the gunmen have been arrested — both have links to Rio de Janeiro’s paramilitary police mafias.
In death, Marielle Franco became a symbol of struggle. Murals bearing her face can be seen in the streets of Buenos Aires and Milan, and her activism as a left-wing LGBT politician from Rio de Janeiro’s poor favelas has influenced scores of young people to enter politics themselves.
On social media, the campaign to find who ordered Ms. Franco’s killing. This week, federal lawmaker Marcelo Freixo — a former colleague of Ms. Franco, who has received repeated death threats from Rio’s police mafias — said that ‘Marielle’s death is Rio de Janeiro’s death certificate.