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A year without Marielle and Anderson. Who ordered their assassination?

Translated by Clara Baeder


The one-year landmark of the assassination of PSOL Councillor Marielle Franco and driver Anderson Gomes comes just after two important moments. Carnival was marked by the memory of the political crime in the victorious Mangueira parade, with dozens of carnival parties across the country raising Marielle as a symbol of resistance, and this week the arrest of two former police officers accused of the execution confirming the strong suspicions of the connection between the militias and the assassination of the city councilor.

The many problems of the first few months of the government have set the tone for criticism of the broad movement of resistance to Bolsonaro that marked Carnival, extended to the large demonstrations of women on March 8 and are now taking place in memory of Marielle and Anderson. The enormous ideological and practical closeness of the Bolsonaro family to the Carioca militias is becoming increasingly evident, and their proven relations with recognized militiamen demonstrate the proximity of these criminal groups to extreme-right political sectors, demanding a thorough investigation into the real links of these mafias on the political scene.

The arrests for corruption of politicians at the top of the Rio de Janeiro MDB, including former governors and close advisors, demonstrate the nature of the system of power that created the enabling environment for the development of the militias. The numerous forms of diversion of public money revealed in Rio’s various corruption schemes in recent years have proven the spurious relationships between corrupt governments and armed criminal groups. These relationships come from afar and become even more serious at a time when the presidency of the country and the government of the state of Rio de Janeiro are occupied by Bolsonaro and Witzel, declared defenders of both major business interests and the crimes of the military dictatorship and the methods of police violence.

On the other hand, the strength of Marielle’s struggle and the broad pressure for a full resolution of the case prevented the muffling of the crime and showed us possibilities for democratic resistance despite the adverse situation. Although Bolsonaro keeps his anti-democratic project going, he is unable to erase his close relations with militiamen or the mobilization for justice that is taking over Brazil and spreading throughout the world.

PSOL has always been on the frontline against the paramilitaries that affect the daily life of Rio de Janeiro through territorial control based on extortion and violence, and our federal deputy Marcelo Freixo represents nationally the fight against the occupation of politics by criminal sectors linked to the security services. The “Crime Office”, a criminal group indicated by the investigations as the one that carried out the assassination of Marielle and Anderson, is one of these groups that articulates itself in the areas controlled by this mafia, maintaining close links with political parties of the rightwing.

The rhetoric of the extreme right that was consolidated in the last elections faces its first contradictions before society, making the complete elucidation of the crime that occurred a year ago a fundamental guarantee for the safety of all activists and militants who fight for social changes, often facing great injustices and powerful interests. Marielle’s struggle was the struggle of the black women of the favelas, it was the struggle of the workers against the brutal exploitation of their sweat, it was the struggle of the residents of the peripheries against the forms of violence of the state, and that is why it is such a strong model for us today.

Marielle’s symbol rises against the Bolsonaro family and everything they represent, and to ensure justice is served it is necessary to continue on the streets, mobilizing ourselves in defense of democratic freedoms, against political repression and in favor of the various mobilizations for rights that will confront this government. We will not take a step backwards in the fight for justice for Marielle and Anderson, demanding until the end the full clarification of the case and the punishment for the murderers and orderers of the crime. The fight for justice will be the greatest tribute we will pay to our dead.

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  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
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  • Clara Baeder