Brazil: Authorities make progress in Marielle Franco investigation but must fully resolve the case

In response to the operation by the Civil Police and the Rio de Janeiro Public Prosecutor’s Office that resulted in the arrest of four people and a warrant being issued against former Military Police Ronnie Lessa, who is already in prison accused of carrying out the killing of human rights defender Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Silva, Jurema Werneck, executive director of Amnesty International Brazil, said:
“We are struck by the existence of a network of people involved in the killing of a human rights defender such as Marielle Franco, who worked for the common good, to benefit the citizens of Rio de Janeiro. We continue to follow the development of the investigations and remain deeply concerned about the delay in identifying who ordered the crime. We hope that everyone involved in the killing will be identified and brought to justice.”
“We believe this stage of the investigation is crucial in terms of clarifying this brutal crime and we hope that these people will have access to due process in fair and expeditious proceedings. We remain committed to Marielle’s family, Brazilian society and the global community as they demand answers to the question: ‘who ordered Marielle killed and why?’”
“We demand justice in this emblematic case of the killing of a human rights defender who has always fought for the most vulnerable and was killed while serving her term as city councilor, for which she was democratically elected. The message is clear: no human rights defender is safe in Brazil as long as this case remains unpunished. Marielle’s case shows us the importance of protecting the human rights defenders in this country who fight daily and unfailingly for a more just and egalitarian world.”
In September, Amnesty International sent letters to the Rio de Janeiro Public Prosecution Service and state governor Wilson Witzel, demanding the resolution of the case 18 months after the killing of Marielle and Anderson. Last week, the Rio de Janeiro Public Prosecutor’s Office responded, saying Amnesty International’s letter will be incorporated into the case file to show the international repercussion of the crime, which highlights the importance of continued mobilization around the case.
In March 2019, Amnesty International delivered a petition to the Governor of Rio de Janeiro and State Attorney General Eduardo Gussem with 780,000 signatures from people around the world asking for justice for Marielle.
There is another petition on the Amnesty International Brazil website calling for further investigations until all those involved in the killing are identified and brought to justice. The current petition has already collected more than 80,000 signatures.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Lucy Scholey, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), 613-744-7667 ext. 236,
Read more:
Brazil: 18 months on, authorities must not let Marielle Franco killing remain unsolved (News, 12 September 2019)
Brazil: Arrests are first sign of progress in investigation into killing of Marielle Franco (News, 12 March 2019)
Brazil: After a year of impunity, authorities must bring Marielle Franco’s killers to justice (News, 11 March 2019)