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Montevideo, August 19th 2022 - 20:52 UTC

 

 

Lula links Bolsonaro supporters to 2018 murder of Afro-descendant activist

Thursday, June 2nd 2022 - 21:47 UTC
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Lula is not the first to tie Bolsonarist groups and paramilitary militias to Franco's assassination Lula is not the first to tie Bolsonarist groups and paramilitary militias to Franco's assassination
In March 2018, Afro-descendant Franco was shot dead when she was driving through downtown Rio de Janeiro after participating in an event with women In March 2018, Afro-descendant Franco was shot dead when she was driving through downtown Rio de Janeiro after participating in an event with women

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, who according to every poll is poised to win the Oct. 2 elections and thus return to the Planalto Palace, Thursday linked supporters of the incumbent head of state to the 2018 murder of Rio de Janeiro Socialist councilwoman and activist Marielle Franco.

Lula is not the first to tie Bolsonarist groups and paramilitary militias to Franco's assassination. During a speech in Porto Alegre Wednesday, Lula brought together the concepts of Bolsonaro and the Franco case.

The Workers' Party candidate had been talking about the need for a ruler to be able to receive all sectors in the government house in a transparent manner when he made the controversial statements: ”When a ruler has a dark side, because we cannot know the quality of all the militiamen (parapolice) who respond to him.... What we do know is that his people have no shame in having murdered Marielle,“ he said.

In March 2018, the Afro-descendant and bisexual Franco, who stood out for her defense of minorities' rights, was shot dead when she was driving through downtown Rio de Janeiro after participating in an event with women. Those arrested for the crime were seen leaving the Viviendas da Barra condominium, Bolsonaro's personal residence. Ronnie Lessa and Elcio Queiroz, the ex-cops charged with Franco's murder, are part of the so-called ”militias“, para-police organizations that dispute the power of organized crime in favelas and communities.

The current president has denied on several occasions having any links with these paramilitary organizations. ”I am a former captain in the Brazilian Army and many military policemen in Rio de Janeiro are good friends of mine. Coincidentally, one of these alleged killers of Marielle lived on the opposite side of my street,“ Bolsonaro told Fox News in March 2019.

But ”at some point in the investigation, phone calls were identified between the two houses, from the Bolsonaro family to Ronnie Lessa,” recalled journalist Bruno Paes Manso, also a researcher at USP's Center for the Study of Violence (NEV), in an interview with Brasil de Fato. “They tried to understand what it was about, but then Ronnie Lessa denied it and said that his daughter was traveling to the United States at the time,” Paes Manso added.

In March 2022, four years after the death of Marielle and Anderson, Brasil de Fato also published an article revealing ties between the militia and the presidential family. There were other reports linking the Bolsonaro family with the militiamen.

After Wednesday's remarks, Bolsonaro's followers accused Lula of spreading “fake news” and called for Supreme Federal Court (STF) Justice Alexander De Moraes to be as assertive towards Lula as he is towards Bolsonaro, who is under investigation in a fake news case.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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