Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (19 March) on the murder of Brazilian human rights activist and politician, Marielle Franco:
I am deeply shocked by the murders of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes. I condemn this despicable act in the strongest possible terms. As a Rio de Janeiro city councillor and head of the Human Rights Commission, Ms Franco was an inspiration for all those who campaign for the protection of and respect for human rights. She took a resolute stand against police violence and fought for women’s rights, particularly the rights of Afro Brazilian women.
I extend my sincerest sympathy to the families and loved ones of Ms Franco and Mr Gomes.
The Brazilian authorities have announced a full investigation of the murders. I expect this investigation to be conducted swiftly, thoroughly, transparently and independently in order to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.
Brazilian human rights activist and politician Marielle Franco was murdered on the evening of 14 March 2018 in the centre of Rio de Janeiro. Her driver, Anderson Gomes, was also killed in the attack. The perpetrators were able to flee the scene. Ms Franco was elected to Rio de Janeiro Council in October 2016.
A social scientist who came from the large Maré favela, Ms Franco was known beyond Rio de Janeiro for her human rights activism. She repeatedly denounced police violence in the favelas and campaigned for women’s rights.