I always felt like Marielle Franco was one of us. I mean, she thought the same way I do, we share the same ideas and beliefs. She represented me and other 46,5 thousands voters. She was fifth best voted city councillor in Rio, on Brazil’s last election in 2016.
When they shot Marielle, they shot the black women, the mothers, the daughters, the LGBT community, the voters and also my vote. They shot democracy.
Marielle and her driver, Anderson Gomes, 39, were shot dead in a targeted assassination on March 14th, in central Rio. She was 38 years old. She left behind a daughter, a sister, uncles, aunts and her father and mother.
I met her family five days after the crime. It was intense and unforgettable. I was prepared for a sad meeting, but what I found was a extraordinary strong family. Dona Marinete, her mother, was so happy to tell Marielle’s trajetory and show her photos.
Of course it is a terrible situation, but surprisingly the vibe was good. We spent some hours reminding Marielle and I could understand why and how she became a global icon.
Marielle was strong, was powerful, was beautiful. She proved that the favela could be in the politics. And she rattled a lot of white guys, that’s why she is dead. Brazil is a third World country. It is very difficult and dangerous to work with human rights here.
Society wants justice. The streets in the entire country were crowded with demonstrations asking the question: who killed Marielle Franco?
22 March 2018, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Register of my first seven days after Marielle's death:
March, 15, 2018. 11am. Marielle was shot dead the day before at 9:30 pm, in Estácio. In the next morning, people concentrated in Cinelândia square in front of the City Council, where the funeral took place.
March, 15, 2018. 12pm. A girl cries at the City Council gate.
March, 15, 2018. 3pm. Carried by family and friends, the coffins of city councilor Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes arrive at Rio de Janeiro's City Council. The funeral was closed to relatives and friends, as a family request.
March, 15, 2018. 3pm. The coffins path from the street to the City Council entrance was opened by women -- they formed a human chain to isolate the path. After the coffins were inside the building, they took the front stairs screaming for justice.
March, 15, 2018. 7pm. The second part of the day started at 7pm with a demonstration against the murders. They walked from Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly to the Cinelândia square.
March, 15, 2018. 7:30pm. The majority of the demonstrators were black women.
March, 15, 2018. 8pm. The demonstration ended in the same place where the day began, at the City Council stairs.
March, 15, 2018. 8pm. The City Council stairs became the main protest point after Marielle's death.
March, 16, 2018. 6pm. In the second day, the demonstrators concentrated at the Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly and then walked to Cinêlandia square. The poster says "Resist".
March, 16, 2018. 7pm. People took candles in honor of Marielle and Anderson. The poster says "Mourning".
March, 16, 2018. 7pm. A vigil at Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly stairs before the demonstration started walking to Cinelândia square.
March, 16, 2018. 7:30pm. A person writes "police kill" in a building in downtown Rio.
March, 17, 2018. 9am. Three days after the crime, I was on assignment for Folha de São Paulo newspaper to cover a social action promoted by the Brazilian army, the mayor and the governor, at Vila Kennedy, Bangu, Rio de Janeiro. The place has high numbers in violence statistics and is being considered by the army as the "model" to the federal intervention in the public security of the state.
March, 17, 2018. 9:30am. One of the fights of Marielle was against the federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro. Because of the corruption, the governor was with no control and the president Michel Temer made the federal intervention putting the leader of the Brazilian army, general Walter Braga Netto, as the intervener in the state's public security.
March, 17, 2018. 9:30am. General Braga Netto arrives at Vila Kennedy. In the last article wrote by Marielle, published on 16th March in the cover of Jornal do Brasil newspaper, she said: "And what we see is that in this 'laboratory', the guinea pigs are black women and black men, from the suburb, from the favelas, workers. People's lives cannot be models of safety experiment."
March, 17, 2018. 10:30am. A soldier at Vila Kennedy, Rio de Janeiro. Last month, Marielle was named rapporteur of a special commission established by the city council to monitor military intervention in Rio de Janeiro's public security.
March, 17, 2018. 9am. A family waiting the in line to attend the social action. Two days before the barbaric assassination, Marielle denounced the deaths of two youths during a military police operation in Acari community. On her Facebook, she wrote: "We must speak loudly so that everybody knows what is happening in Acari right now. The 41st Military Police Battalion of Rio de Janeiro is terrorizing and violating Acari residents. This week two youths were killed and tossed in a ditch. Today, the police walked the streets threatening residents. This has always happened and with the military intervention things have gotten worse”.
March, 18, 2018. 2:30pm. On fourth day, the residents of Maré favela, the community where Marielle grew up, made a demonstration demanding justice and against the black people genocide.
March, 18, 2018. 4pm. During the demonstration, only black women spoke at the microphone.
March, 18, 2018. 3pm. Linha Amarela (Yellow Line), an important avenue that connect the west zone to the north zone, was blocked for two hours.
March, 19, 2018. 8pm. Five days after the murder of the activist I was at Dona Marinete home on an assignment for Marie Claire Brazil, to do a portrait of Marielle's mother.
March, 19, 2018. 10pm. Marinete da Silva, 66 years old, lawyer, at her house. An extraordinary strong woman, another mother who loses her kid in Rio de Janeiro.
March, 20, 2018. 12pm. In the next day, a portrait of Jurema Werneck, Amnesty International's Brazil director, for Marie Claire Brazil. In an article published on Amnesty International website, she said: "This a chilling development and is yet another example of the dangers that human rights defenders face in Brazil. As a member of Rio de Janeiro’s State Human Rights Commission, Marielle worked tirelessly to defend the rights of black women and young people in the favelas and other marginalized communities."
March, 20, 2018. 8pm. At the night, the Cinelândia square was the scenario of another demonstration. The act started at Candelária church and ended at Cinelândia, with a inter-religious ceremony for the memory of the seventh day of the murders.
March, 20, 2018. 8pm. The poster says "Temer Out", referring to the president Michel Temer, in front of the Municipal Theatre.
March, 20, 2018. 7pm. During the act, the Rio Branco Avenue plate was replaced by "Marielle Franco Street" plate as a way of protesting. The small letters says:
"(1979-2018) City Councilor, defender of Human Rights and minorities, cowardly murdered on March 14, 2018."
March, 21, 2018. 12am. Nowadays, Marielle's face can be seen around the city. Whoever did the crime hardly knew that when they buried Marielle, they planted many seeds. Marielle, Presente!