2 Rio ex-police officers held for murder of politician

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Two men have been arrested over the murder of Marielle Franco, an outspoken black councillor in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

The arrests come almost a year after Franco and her driver were shot dead, an incident which caused mass protests.

Franco had been highly critical of the deployment of federal security forces to Rio’s poor neighbourhoods. Police said both suspects were former members of the military police force.

Murdered, Marielle Franco

Franco was returning from an event encouraging black women’s empowerment in central Rio on 14 March 2018 when a car drew alongside hers and nine shots rang out.

She was shot four times in the head, and three bullets hit her driver, Anderson Gomes. Ms Franco’s press officer, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, was injured.

One of the suspects arrested on Tuesday is accused of being the gunman, the other of being the driver.

The killing shocked Brazilians, who took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and other cities en masse in protest.

With the anniversary of her murder approaching, there was also criticism of the fact that no-one had been brought to justice for her murder. (BBC)

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