Slain Rio councilwoman was voice of favelas' voiceless

People cry on the sidewalk next to scene where council member Marielle Franco and her driver have where shot to death

According to police, two men in a auto fired nine shots into the politician's vehicle, killing her and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes on Wednesday night, as the Associated Press reported.

Police at the scene in central Rio where Marielle Franco and her driver were shot dead by two suspects.

Ms Franco was returning from an event encouraging black women's empowerment in central Rio when a vehicle drew alongside hers and nine shots rang out.

Rio's Public Security Secretary Richard Nunes said in a statement there will be "full investigation on the assassination" of council member Marielle Franco and her driver.

Before being gunned down in the center of Rio de Janeiro, city councilwoman Marielle Franco built a career standing up for the many others living in danger of bullets and abuse. Many of those who took to the streets say that they hope that these two deaths will promote a national movement, just as USA students in Parkland, Florida formed a movement to protest against lenient gun laws after the shooting at one of the district's high school last month. The decision was strongly condemned by Franco, who was made part of a commission that would oversee the military intervention, insisting that it could worsen police violence against residents.

"One more homicide of a young man who may be coming in for the PM's account..."

On Feb. 16, Brazil's federal government handed control of public security in Rio to the military, the first such move since the end of the dictatorship here in 1985.

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When she was elected to the city council, Ms Franco stood out for a bill that would force the city to track statistics on violence against women. Her strident defense of human rights was pepper spray to the police, whom she frequently called out for rogue behavior, as she did just last week.

Franco was also a a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSOL), and recently accused a slew of police officials of being excessively violent when searching homes in slums that were controlled by gangs. "How many others will have to die for this war to end?"

Redes da Maré, a non-profit group based in Franco's neighborhood, described her death as "an irreparable loss".

"Matheus Melo was leaving the church". Her party called for a match Friday to protest violence in Rio. "They come to kill our young!" she tweeted.

Franco was a beacon of hope of the people of Rio, which is plagued by a plethora of issues including poverty.

"The Brazilian authorities must ensure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into this tragic killing", Amnesty International said in a statement.

Jungmann said that federal investigators would be involved in the investigation and that he had put Brazil's federal police at the disposition of local investigators. Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, who is contemplating a bid for the presidency, said the assassination underscored the need of the Rio military operation.

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