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Left-leaning Rio city councillor Marielle Franco gunned down in Brazil

A young, leftist Rio city councillor who grew up in a slum and worked on human rights issues has been shot and killed, authorities said.

Published: 15th March 2018 02:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2018 02:20 PM   |  A+A-

People cry on the sidewalk next to scene where council member Marielle Franco and her driver have where shot to death. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

RIO DE JANERIO: A young, leftist Rio city councillor who grew up in a slum and worked on human rights issues has been shot and killed, authorities said.

The attack outraged Brazilian politicians and citizens, and protest rallies were called for today.

Councillor Marielle Franco's driver also died in the attack, in which a car pulled up alongside theirs as she returned from a black women's empowerment event and shots were fired at them.

One of her aides was wounded.

The federal government said it is investigating the shooting.

Amnesty International said the probe should be rigorous and focus on "the context, motive and responsibility" for the killing.

Social media lit up with calls for demonstrations Thursday outside City Hall and elsewhere in Rio.

"March against black genocide! WE ARE ALL Marielle Franco," said one appeal, which in a matter of hours drew pledges from some 20,000 people to attend the rally.

Franco, 38, belonged to the leftist PSOL party.

She was born and raised in a network of favelas, or slums, called Mare, one of the city's most violent areas.

Franco in recent weeks had criticized what she called an increase in police violence in the slums.

She has also criticized President Michel Temer for calling in army troops to boost security in Rio amid violence that has been on the rise since the city hosted the Olympic Games in 2016.

But Franco's party said she had not reported receiving threats of late.

Franco earned a degree in sociology and a masters in public administration.



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