Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo on Thursday to protest the slaying of politician Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes. The pair were shot dead Wednesday night, in what some authorities suspect to be a political assassination.
“We are not going to allow this to continue,” one protester in told reporters at a demonstration in Rio on Thursday.
Franco's murder has sparked outrage around the country, and comes just weeks after Brazil’s President Michel Temer agreed to give the Brazilian military authority over security operations in Rio de Janeiro State, a move seen by some as an attempt to gain popularity, rather than actually tackle crime.
“This is certainly an attack on the rule of law and an attack on democracy,” Temer said in a video statement published on social media Thursday.
Franco, a gay woman of color, defied expectations when she was elected to Rio's city council in 2016. Once in power, she quickly established herself as a voice for people in the city’s favelas, where extreme poverty, gang activity and police brutality are common.
Human rights watchdogs have called for an investigation into the killing.