Outrage after black politician Marielle Franco shot dead

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Marielle Franco, 38, a Rio de Janeiro City Council member, and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, 39, were gunned down on March 14, 2018, after a vehicle pulled alongside theirs and opened fire.

People look on as Rio's Civil Police officers transport Brazilian politician Marielle Franco's auto, where she was found shot dead in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 15, 2018.

People cry on the sidewalk next to scene where council member Marielle Franco and her driver have where shot to death by two unidentified attackers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Karol Balfe, Head of From Violence to Peace at Christian Aid, said: "Christian Aid strongly condemns this week's killings of human rights defenders in Brazil, which are a chilling indictment of the grave threats faced by those speaking out against injustice".

Her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was also killed, while Franco's press officer was shot but survived.

Skeptics have seized on the brutal crime as confirmation that Rio de Janeiro is a lost cause, and the federal intervention meant to rescue Brazil's most storied venue from crime's tightening hold badly flawed.

Franco's shooting death came even after military members began policing the streets of Rio last month, following a spike in violence.

Just weeks ago, the federal government decreed that Brazil's army would take over all security operations through the end of the year in Rio, where murders have risen sharply. She was recently appointed rapporteur of a municipal commission to monitor the federal intervention in policing Rio de Janeiro.

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Rio city councillor Marielle Franco in a photo from her official Facebook page.

Franco was born and raised in a network of favelas, or slums, called Mare, one of the city's most violent areas.

Franco, who was first elected to represent the left-wing Socialism and Liberal party in Rio in 2016, was 38 years old and identified as LGBT.

Redes da Maré, a non-profit group based in Franco's neighborhood, described her death as "an irreparable loss". "Matheus Melo was leaving church when he was killed", she wrote. "How many more will have to die for this war to end?" she tweeted.

Franco's killing comes as the recent military takeover of security in Rio appears to be showing few positive results.

A huge crowd marched to the Rio state assembly to protest the slaying of Marielle Franco, 38, the previous day. Franco was a source of pride and hope particularly for Black youth and women, as she fought against the people in power on behalf of the neglected people of the favelas.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated that the investigation "must be transparent and credible and that the perpetrators of the crime should be brought to justice". Raul Jungmann, the minister of the newly established Public Security Ministry, said that federal police forces would help investigate her death. The 41st Military Police Battalion of Rio de Janeiro is terrorizing and violating Acari residents.

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