Mon, 26 Aug 2019

Slain councilwoman honoured in Rio de Janeiro

15 Oct 2018, 22:38 GMT+10

Thousands of people gathered in Brazil's second largest city on Sunday to honour the memory of a councilwoman and human rights activist who was shot to death seven months ago.

Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were killed in Rio de Janeiro on March 14 while returning from an event focused on empowering young black women.

At least 2 000 people joined the rally at Rio's Cinelandia Square to restore a street sign with her name on it.

The previous sign was taken down two weeks earlier by two supporters of right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro, who won the first round of Brazil's presidential election last weekend. The pair said the Franco street sign had replaced the original sign and thus was an act of vandalism.

Franco's partner, Monica Benicio, led Sunday's event at which 1 000 street signs bearing the councilwoman's name were distributed.

The event was a message of resistance to "the climate of hate and violence that we are experiencing", Benicio told The Associated Press.

"Taking down the street sign was disrespectful to our family and to all those who sympathised with the work done by Marielle who fought for a more just society," she said.

"They failed to keep her quiet," Benicio added. "Save those street signs, for they symbolise her memory and resistance and show that love always win."

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