In 2016, Marielle Franco was elected to Rio de Janeiro’s City Council as a member of the Socialism and Liberty Party. She was a woman of African descent from a favela community who earned a master’s degree. She was a single mother in a committed relationship with another woman. Marielle worked for the welfare of LGBTQ and poor populations, including families of deceased police members. She was a feminist, a bridge-builder and a radical defender of human rights. She represented hopes of political renewal for countless Brazilians. On March 14, 2018, Marielle and her driver Anderson Gomes were brutally assassinated. There is strong evidence that her murderers belong to urban militias which saw her as a threat. These are paramilitary gangs and death squads with links to elected officials, including allies and family members of Brazil’s current president. Marielle Franco has become a symbol in the struggle for Brazilian democracy.
Mariana Cavalcanti, Urban Anthropologist and Professor in the Institute of Social and Political Studies at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
Geri Augusto, Gerard Visiting Associate Professor of International & Public Affairs and Africana Studies and Watson Institute Faculty Fellow at Brown University.
Co-sponsored by the DRCLAS Brazil Studies Program, the Afro-Latin America Research Institute at the Hutchins Center, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.