The brutal and planned political murder of Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes will have completed a year on March 14th, 2019.
Marielle - a black person, a woman, an LGBT, and a councilor of PSOL - arrived at parliament through the hands of the people of the favelas, where she lived and whom she represented. That's why she was assassinated. It was a political crime. They killed her because she was the voice of an exploited, segregated and marginalized people. She was the face of a cruel inequality that spreads and shapes the country. Its a Brasil where a war against the poor is a constant. Where there were more than 60,000 homicides last year - of which more than 70% of the victims were black people and more than half young people. Our country is fifth highest on the index of feminicide of the entire world and, in 2018, 70% of the murdered women were black. Every 17 minutes a woman is assaulted in Brazil and, considering only this year (2019), 126 feminicides occurred in 34 days.
Political violence in Brazil is an expression of the change of regime we have been going through and of a very fragile democracy. There are strong indications that Marielle was murdered by militias, paramilitary organizations composed of active police officers and former police officers who control a large part of Rio de Janeiro's neighborhoods. These criminal organizations have tentacles in the State. They join governments, elect legislators and have great economic power. One of President Bolsonaro's sons paid homage to militia-men in parliament and employed relatives of some of them in his cabinet. The militia-man whose relatives were employed by Bolsonaro is now on the run.
Before her election, Marielle had an important role in the office of Marcelo Freixo, PSOL state congressman in Rio who chaired the congressual investigation of the Militias. He investigated the role of these groups and their relations with the State. Two months ago, a new militia plan to assassinate the now federal congressman Marcelo Freixo was announced, demonstrating that political violence is a concrete element of Brazilian politics. The resignation of Jean Willys, an LGBT militant, also a federal congressman for PSOL in Rio, occurred recently due to the numerous threats that this fellow also received. Also, Dani Monteiro, a black woman from the favelas and former Marielle's advisor, had her car sprayed with threats on the day of her inauguration as a state congresswoman. She was also elected by PSOL. This is another example of the frailty of our democracy and of the situation of women like Marielle in the Brazilian parliament.
Her body was killed, but Marielle's legacy lives on. Our comrade has become a symbol of resistance against the inequalities and oppressions present in Brazilian society. Her death had the opposite effect of that intended by her executioners. Today there are thousands of black women who are carrying out her struggle. And her struggle is not only in Brazil, it is spreading among the multitudes of immigrants and refugees who seek better living conditions, among the women who fight against violence and sexism, among the anti-racist struggles of all countries, among the indigenous and "quilombolas" who fight for a good life.
We want justice for Marielle! The investigation and the solution of her death will be the work of solidarity of those who reject injustice and seek a livable life. The Brazilian people need all the support possible in this battle against authoritarianism, and on this March 14 we demand responsibilization of those who killed and ordered the assassination of Marielle.
Nobody lets go of anyone's hand!
Black lives matter!