Brazil police arrest three people in connection to 2018 murder of city council member News
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Brazil police arrest three people in connection to 2018 murder of city council member

Brazilian police arrested three people Sunday in connection to the 2018 murder of Rio de Janeiro city council member Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes. The case has remained unsolved since 2018.

The police arrested brothers Chiquinho and Domingos Brazão for ordering the murder. Police also arrested former police chief Rivaldo Barbosa for alleged obstruction of the investigation following the murders and purposefully diverting it away from the brothers.

Domingos Brazão’s lawyer, Ubiratan Guedes, denied Domingos’s involvement with the murder and claimed he did not know Mariell nor had any connection to her. Guedes described the charge against Domingos as an obstacle to justice. 

Franco and Gomes were murdered as they were leaving an event to empower young Black women. Franco, a human rights defender, was murdered at 38 years old. Franco was known for her strong political views, specifically concerning police brutality. She won the fifth-highest vote count when she was elected in 2016 and was in her first term in office. Some have argued that this was a possible motive for her murder, while others argue that it was due to her race and sexuality.

Brazil has been facing increasing levels of violence in recent years. The UN raised concerns about the increasing violence levels and the restrictions imposed on Brazilian citizen’s rights to active social and political participation in 2022. UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, noted on a visit to Brazil that he was also concerned about the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials and violence against social leaders, candidates, and politically elected leaders.