Dear Minister of Justice, Mr. Torquato Jardim
Dear Secretary of Public Safety of the State of Rio de Janeiro, General Richard Fernandez Nunes
Dear Head of the Civil Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Mr. Rivaldo Barbosa
Dear Attorney General of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rio de Janeiro, Mr. Eduardo Gussem
Dear Federal Attorney for the Rights of the Citizen, Mrs. Deborah Macedo Duprat de Britto Pereira
On the night of 14 March, councilwoman and human rights defender Marielle Franco, 38 years old, was shot dead in Rio de Janeiro when she was returning from a conference. Marielle was known in Rio de Janeiro for denouncing human rights violations, mainly against young people, women, black people and LGBTI people, and also for her work to expose human rights violations committed by the security forces, including extrajudicial executions.
According to publicly available information, it appears that her killing was carried out by a professional with great ability to handle a firearm. More than 10 shots hit the vehicle, right in the area where Marielle was. She received four shots in the head and at least three shots reached the driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. They both died in the place. An advisor who worked with Marielle was wounded by the fragments of the shots. Also according to media reports, experts have identified that the bullets used in the crime belong to the Brazilian Federal Police. A few days later, the media released images from security cameras from around the neighborhood that indicate that Marielle’s car was being followed, which strengthens the hypothesis of a premeditated crime.
Marielle was a prominent human rights defender in Rio de Janeiro, well known for her tireless work in the city and metropolitan area. Due to the context of recurrent threats and attacks against human rights defenders in Brazil and the frequent impunity of these crimes, I demand:
-A prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of Marielle and Anderson, which identifies not only the perpetrators of the shooting, but also the intellectual authors, and that the results of these investigations are made public.
- That all those suspected of criminal responsibility are brought to justice in a fair trial.
- To take all appropriate measures to guarantee effective assistance and protection to the families of the victims, including psychological and legal support.
- Immediate protection for the survivor and other witnesses of the crime in order to prevent any form of harassment, intimidation or threats.