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Who killed Marielle? The new developments of the case

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

“I am not free while another woman is a prisoner, even if her currents are not the same as mine”. This slogan was spoken by Marielle Franco, an activist for minorities and oppressed groups, 30 minutes before her departure from an event where she talked about blackness. The councilor of PSOL was killed along with her driver, Anderson Gomes, with 13 shots directed by their car. The murder happened on March 14th, 2018.

The murder of Marielle brought extensive resonance between the society. With only a few revealed until 2019, a year after her death, the ex military-policies of Rio de Janeiro, Ronnie Lessa and Elcio de Queiroz were arrested, accused of executing the firings against the victims and driving the vehicle that the shots went out, respectively. 

After six years without answers related to who ordered Marielle’s murder, Lessa signed a reward betrayal with the survey that investigates the councilor’s death, and, from now on March 19th, 2024, new answers were revealed. 

Who ordered Marielle’s murder?

On March 24th, 2024, the survey that collected pieces of evidence about Marielle’s murder was ended and the suspects of ordering the crime were revealed: the brothers Domingos and Chiquinhos Brazão. 

Domingos Brazão, 58 years of age, was elected as state deputy of Rio de Janeiro five consecutive times, where he accumulated lots of polemics and corruption suspects and, with that, was estranged from his position. Subsequently, he was relocated as Rio de Janeiro’s Tribunal de Contas adviser (TCE). Nowadays, Domingos assigns to your criminal record, the accusation of fraud, administrative probity, involvement in “Mafia dos combustíveis” and, lastly, involvement with Rio de Janeiro’s militia for vote buying. 

Chiquinho Brazão, 62 years of age and Rio de Janeiro’s councilor for almost four mandates, was Marielle Franco´s co-worker in the carioca Municipal Chamber. After six months of her death, in 2018, Chiquinho was elected as a federal deputy by the political party Avante, and reelected in 2022, by União Brasil. The deputy integrates, since 2019, the Frente Parlamentar da Agropecuária (FPA), strongly known as “Bancada Ruralista”. At this workbench, Chiquinho supported law projects like the flexibilization of rules for agro-toxic use, besides the well-known PL of “grilagem”, that regulates improper occupations of public lands. Those laws were approved by the Bolsonaro government (2019-2022). 

The brothers, with their strong connection with Rio de Janeiro’s west side militia, were contesting a law project to regulate lots in the zone, to commercial targets. These lots, localized in militia operation districts, were associated with squatting of lands. In turn, Marielle acted against those squatting and sought, with her political party, the regulation of the lots for social purposes, demonstrating the Brazão brothers´ motivation to order the councilor murder. 

Herewith Domingos and Chiquinho Brazão, the survey mentions Rivaldo Barbosa, ex-chief of police of Rio de Janeiro. Besides disturbing the progress of the investigation, the delegate was accused of helping to plan the crime against Marielle. 

Rivaldo Barbosa, 54 years of age, worked as a delegate for more than 22 years and was commissioned Chief of Police of Rio de Janeiro a day before Marielle’s murder. Besides delegate, Rivaldo graduated from law school and was a professor at Estácio de Sá University for over 20 years. According to Marielle’s mother, Marinete da Silva, the councilor had a strong relationship of confidence with Rivaldo Barbosa, ensuring he would solve the crime for the family. Marielle’s family declared, therefore, high surprise at discovering his involvement in the murder. 

Now, after the revealing of the names and news happenings related to Marielle´s murder and the mandate of the prison of the Brazão brothers and Rivaldo Barbosa, the trial gets a new journey and the case is declared finished.

Marielle Franco Institute 

The Marielle Franco Institute is an organization created by Marielle’s family, in pursuit of inspiring black women, outskirts, and LGBTQIA+ people to fight for a free and equal world, shaking the structures of society. With the Institute, not only the defense of socially oppressed groups is present, but also the defense of the memory of Marielle. 
A woman, black, mother and “cria de favela”, as though Marielle refers to herself. Marielle lives, defending a future generation that grows, representing better spaces, occupying politics, and remembering everything she represents for the world.



The article above was edited by Beatriz Gatz.

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Raissa Galvão

Casper Libero '27

Estudante de jornalismo que ama a arte de se comunicar e escrever ;)