She stood in the gap where those without a voice would be heard.

Say her name….Marielle Franco.  Just from the pictures you can see the brightness of her smile and her spirit that seemed to not dim no matter the situation.  She loved her community and her home.  

This Brazilian politician, feminist and human rights activist was gunned down along with her driver in her vehicle after attending and speaking at a black women’s empowerment event in the city of Rio de Janeiro on March 14th, 2018 at approximately 9:30 am Brazil time.  She served as a city councilor of the Municipal Chamber of Rio de Janeiro for the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) from January 2017 until her assassination on 14 March 2018.

The community came out in droves to honor this political firefly. She was best known for fighting for minorities and her disdain for the military in her region. Growing up in the Favelas of Brazil, this bisexual Brazilian of African heritage was very outspoken and not afraid of what was in front of her. She stood tall among the black bisexual, LGBTQ community and just days before her murder tweeted her fueled anger at the assassination of young people from the community of Acari.  She blamed the police’s 41st battalion for abusing their power, calling it “the death battalion.”

Her killing has been labeled and assassination due to the structure of the crime scene (nine bullets were fired three hitting her in the head and one in the torso).  Her driver was struck and her press representative who was sitting next to her was struck but had non life threatening injuries and is the only witness who is under protection at this time.  Authorities are investigating the bullets and the possibly the police force to see if there is a link.  This is not the first time that bullets from the federal police have been found at a crime scene.  They have already stated that the bullets used in the attack were the similar to the ones used in a revenge killing by the police in 2015 that killed 17 people.  There is also street camera images of a silver vehicle in the area at the same time of her entrance and exit from the event. 

She leaves behind her partner, Mônica Benício, and her daughter, Luyara Santos

To quote Felipe Alface, author and digital content specialist:  “A true warrior for equality and dignity of Brazil’s underrepresented groups, Franco would more frequently than not used a phrase on her social media accounts to denounce hate crimes against LGBT Brazilians and young people in the country. As Brazilians try to understand the crime that took the prominent advocate’s life, they are left with the three words that she used: “Stop killing us.”