«My name is Marielle Franco. I’m a woman, black, mother and cub of the Maré favela.”
Franco was all this and so much more. She was an activist from Brazil, who everyday fought for everyone’s human rights. She put herself in the spotlight, buy criticizing the government, politicians and the police. When she asked police forces to dialogue with the community and when she pressed for a society in which everyone was welcomed, she was on the front line of the battle.
She became a council woman presenting the PSOL (left-wing Socialism and Liberty Party) in Rio de Janeiro, but after only 18 months of office she was killed, or rather silenced on March 14th, 2018, at the age of 38. Marielle represented and still poses a threat to the rotten powers allied with the mafias in Rio de Janeiro. She symbolized a battle against social inequalities considered necessary by her and her 46,502 voters to correct the discrimination based on gender, race and class and to prevent humanity from dehumanizing. She embodies one of the lights in the darkness of the discriminatory climate and abuses of the military forces verified in Brazil. In addition to inspiring youths to speak out about human rights, she was also the inspiration of six bills that were passed, after her death.
Tens of thousands of people protested as a response to Franco’s death in cities across the country, and the reactions reached the international community, where the protests continued also in New York, Paris, Berlin and Portugal. According to the investigation of her death, the bullets used in the murder came from a batch that was sold to the Federal Police, and later stolen, which reinforces the idea of impunity in the Brazilian law enforcement.
Even after being pressured by UNO, Amnesty International and other international figures, only two people have been accused, but the investigation doesn’t clarify a motive , and there are a lot of comments implying that the delays of the investigation are being caused by high political ranks in Brazil.
The murder of Marielle Franco has been pointed out (by Roberto Romani, professor in ethics and philosophy) as an indicator of the fragility of democratic institutions in Brazil, and is a warning about the supposed threat of a returning military dictatorship, given the rapprochement between the democratic state and the “state of exception” in the country.
No matter the efforts that the new government has supposedly done to bury Marielle and let her rot in oblivion, she continues to resurrect. Her work lives through thousands of people who choose to turn the “morning into fight”.