A Crusader Against Police Violence Is Assassinated In Rio De Janeiro

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Though she was critical of the country's military police being deployed into Rio's favelas, Brazil's Public Security Minister Raul Jungmann said federal police would aid in the investigation into Franco's murder.

People look on as Rio's Civil Police officers transport Brazilian politician Marielle Franco's auto, where she was found shot dead in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 15, 2018. "She never said anything about being threatened", said Laura Pitangui, a physiotherapist who last saw Franco five days ago.

Marielle Franco, a Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman who had become a symbol of hope for numerous city's poorest residents, was shot and killed Wednesday night in an attack police are preliminarily calling an assassination.

Outside the scene where Marielle Franco was found dead in Rio on March 15.

Franco was a black woman who defied the odds of Rio politics to win the fifth highest vote count among council members when she was elected in 2016. Matheus Melo was leaving church when he was killed. "They come to kill our young!" she said.

Her violent death underscores challenges in reducing bloodshed in Brazilian cities, many of which rank among the most violent in the world.

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Last month, Temer ordered the military to take command of Rio city and state police.

"Marielle worked tirelessly to defend the rights of black women and young people in the favelas and other marginalized communities".

The city has been mired in violence for decades but the security situation has worsened dramatically since the end of the Olympic Games in 2016.

Franco, 38, was an outspoken critic of police violence and the deployment of the army into poor neighborhoods. In the post, she questioned the action of the Military Police.

Protests began in Rio Thursday morning as a result of Franco's murder. For years, the Mare has been wracked by wars between narco-trafficking gangs and often heavy handed interventions by police.

Groups of militias operating in many of Rio's slums are said to be made up of active and former police, firefighters, private security and off-duty prison guards.