For the people of Rio de Janeiro, this murder was the equivalent to the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. here in the United States.
On March 14, Marielle Franco, 38, was assassinated when she was struck in the head four times by her assailant’s bullets.
Who Was Marielle Franco
Marielle Franco was a 38-year-old bisexual woman who simply had enough of injustice.
Ms. Franco was the only black female sitting on the City Council of Rio.
When you look at the makeup of the city, it is archaic that only one black woman occupied one of the 51 seats on the council.
In addition to being a member of the City Council, Franco was a significant voice standing up for human rights in an area of the world that is still far behind the times.
Budding Career Cut Short
Even though she was in the minority, it was clear Franco was a rising star in the local political scene.
Coming from one of the more dangerous slums in Rio, her voice was more representative of the community than virtually any other member of the council.
However, while she was beloved by residents of the city, she was feared in the political world.
She had been very vocal against President Michel Temer and his federal intervention throughout the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Franco wanted to see more programs to help drug addicts, rather than military action that was resulting in what many have likened to an outright slaughtering of the poor.
Her assassination sparked outrage throughout the local community.
Since her death, tens of thousands of her supporters have taken to the streets around the world demanding justice for their hero.
From New York, to Berlin, to Paris, protesters are calling for an end to racism in Brazil.
The assassination has also virtually taken over twitter over the last two weeks, with the hashtags #MariellePresente and #SayHerName consistently trending.
United Nations Steps In
To this point, nobody has been arrested, and the violence in the streets is getting worse every day.
This is very much the picture we have seen here in the United States at the hand of groups like Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA.
While it took some time, the United Nations has formally requested an investigation into her death.
Speculation as to whom was behind the assassination attempt is already running wild, with many of the country’s political leaders as the top of the list.