‘Another Marielle Franco Shouldn’t Die’: Film Memorializes Slain Brazilian LGBT Activist

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07/07/2020

A few days before George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, sparking Black Lives Matter protests worldwide, a 14-year-old black teenager named João Pedro Matos Pinto was gunned down by Brazil’s federal police in his uncle’s backyard at Sao Goncalo (Rio De Janeiro) while he was playing with his cousins. The authorities dubbed the incident as an ‘accident’, a raid gone wrong. However, protests raged in the country pointing out (yet again) that this wasn’t an isolated case of police violence in Rio de Janeiro. According to a Reuters article, 1,814 people lost their lives due to police violence in Rio De Janeiro last year, and while most of them have been reduced to a statistic, a mere data point by the authorities, one person, who was a socio-cultural icon and a vocal supporter of human rights, Black rights, and LGBTQA+ community in the state of Rio, continues to live on, even after her death. Her name is Marielle Franco. Franco — for those of you who do not know – was a black, bisexual, feminist, and human rights activist, who held the post of Rio de Janeiro’s councilwoman in 2018, during which she advocated for human rights, and openly criticized police brutality and opposed militarization of the police in Brazil. In fact, a day before her death, she took to Twitter, to criticize a young black man’s death, in the hands of police, and wrote, “How many more must die for this war to end?”

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