Human rights activist Marielle Franco. (Photo: Google Images)
Human rights activist Marielle Franco.
(Photo: Google Images)

Telesur Brasilia is reporting the family of assassinated human rights activist Marielle Franco has asked for protection after receiving death threats. Media outlets reported last week that local politicians were involved in Franco’s assassination. Franco, who was a council person in Rio de Janeiro, protested against police violence, racial and gender oppression and LGBTQ discrimination. On March 14, 2018, she and her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes were killed in a drive by shooting.   AfroPunk’s ZamaMDoda writes:

“Franco (38) was a Black, lesbian single mother who championed the causes of the poor, the LGBTQ+ community and women in Brazil. She grew up in Rio’s Maré favela and dedicated her life to fighting for the marginalized communities ignored and brutalized by the Brazilian government. As a minority several times over in the Brazilian political sphere, Franco’s impact was evident, displayed by Franco being “the only black woman on Rio’s 51-member city council, having received the fifth most votes in the election that won her the seat,” according to Time.”

Since Franco’s murder, her family has received death threats. Telesur Brasilia reports:

“Family members of slain Black activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco have requested state protection due to repeated threats and hate speech. The request was submitted to the State Secretary of Security, Richard Nunes, Monday, during a meeting at the Integrated Center of Command and Control (CICC).

‘Me and Monica (Benicio, Marielle’s widow) have been threatened from the very start (of the investigations), ever since we took the lead in speaking out,’ said Marielle’s younger sister Anielle da Silva.

‘We walk the streets, and somebody says something or follows us. There’s no way for us to tell, indeed, if somebody is armed. But we are victims of online and personal hate speech.’

Da Silva went on to state that her family has ‘requested that cautionary measures be taken, at least some degree of protection during our day to day activity, because our lives continue, going to work every day, bringing kids to school. So, we want protection for our entire family. We have nothing at present.’

In March, the United Nations called for an investigation into Franco’s murder.

Read more at Telesur Brasilia or AfroPunk.

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