The links between politics and paramilitary police mafias in Rio

Police found evidence that Rio's so-called "militias" interfered in this year's election campaign

militia groups rio de janeiro elections
Military police patrols favela region in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Photocarioca/Shutterstock

The assassination of city councilor Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes on March 14, 2018 opened Brazil’s eyes to a long-lasting phenomenon in Rio de Janeiro: the expansion of paramilitary police mafias, commonly known as militias. While two hitmen were arrested for their involvement in the murder, the police have yet to identify a motive or who ordered the assassination. What has been ascertained, however, is that the gunman and his getaway driver are members of a death squad linked to paramilitary groups in Rio de Janeiro, against which Marielle Franco spent her public life fighting.


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