Brazilians take to the streets to mourn councillor, rights activist

In February Temer decided the federal intervention of Rio de Janeiro state giving the army control over police fire departments and the prison system in the region

One of Brazil's most popular human rights advocates has been shot dead in Rio de Janeiro in what appears to have been a targeted killing.

People look on as Rio's Civil Police officers transport Brazilian politician Marielle Franco's vehicle, where she was found shot dead in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 15, 2018. Witnesses said that another vehicle drew up alongside her auto and two men fired nine shots at her.

Late Wednesday, an attacker or attackers pulled up next to her white hatchback in Rio's centre and opened fire, hitting her several times in the head and also killing the driver and injuring an aide, then drove off. A press officer who was in the back seat, was injured 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.

It is important to mention the brutal murder occurred despite the military taking over the policing last month. At least 13 political candidates were slain in the lead-up to 2016's city council polls when Franco was elected, according to Reuters.

"One more homicide of a young man who may be coming in for the PM's account..." She was a vocal critic of police brutality and only a few days before her murder, she took to social media to accuse law-enforcement officials of killing innocent citizens. "How many others will have to die for this war to end?" she wrote in her last post on Twitter.

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Franco, who was raised and lived in the Mare complex of slums, long one of Rio's more unsafe areas, received over 46,500 votes in the 2016 election, the fifth most popular representative out of 51 council members.

The governor of the state of Rio, Luiz Fernando Pezao, called Franco a "warrior", and described her killing as an "extreme act of cowardice". "Matheus Melo was walking out of church. They come to kill our young!" she tweeted.

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". "She represented everything new that people could hope for - a black woman from the poor areas who got to where she could represent us and fought for all the big causes". The assassination made national and global headlines, as demonstrators demanded a thorough investigation into the murder and vowed to carry on Franco's human rights work. Rio's Public Security Secretary Richard Nunes said in a statement there will be "full investigation on the assassination" of both victims.

Christian Aid has condemned this week's killings of human rights defenders in Brazil and called for urgent inquiries into their deaths.

"The climate of near total impunity in Rio de Janeiro needs to end once and for all", Canineu added.

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