Marielle Franco, 5 years and many unanswered questions

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On March 14, 2018, Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle Franco was assassinated in an attack that also claimed the life of her driver, Anderson Gomes. A rising star in left-wing Brazilian politics, Marielle regularly spoke out against police violence and corruption in her city.  

Five years on, the case remains full of unanswered questions. 

Two men have been arrested as the alleged trigger man and getaway driver, but we still don’t know who ordered the assassination. Now, under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, it seems the government wants to solve the case once and for all.

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This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: Tunnel by Danijel Zambo (License code: 6GZPQPZM93FXTXHE), Aspire by Pryces (YODDEZAOMYKFMOUC), Implicit by Eric Haley (RKEZYYOXM8KUGYMI).

In this episode:

  • Euan Marshall is the deputy editor at The Brazilian Report and hosts Explaining Brazil in the absence of Gustavo Ribeiro. He mostly covers environmental issues.

Background reading:

  • Brazil’s 2018 electoral year was haunted by the murder of Marielle Franco. That year, the country saw a spike in episodes of political violence — none of which were as gruesome as the assassination of the Rio politician, which rattled Brazilian politics.
  • After Marielle Franco’s death, Rio’s city council approved bills she had proposed before her death — but ignored the two that were dearest to her. 
  • President Lula and his government took a series of executive measures to roll back some of the policies that were staples of Jair Bolsonaro’s era in government. Among them, the promise to look into the Marielle Franco case.
  • Last month, Justice Minister Flávio Dino announced that the Federal Police have opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the murders of Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes.

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