Just days after Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco was assassinated, leftist councilman Paulinho Henrique Dourado was murdered in a similar fashion. Dourado was in his car when he was shot multiple times, killing him and injuring another passenger in the car. These assassinations are two of 15 political assassinations that have occurred in Brazil since 2017 and are the first two politically driven murders following Brazilian President Temer’s decree to put Rio’s police forces under the military’s control (Telesur, 2018).
On March 14th, 2018, one of Brazil’s strongest voices in the fight for equal rights was assassinated in her car along with her driver on the way home from an event to empower young black women in Rio de Janeiro. Marielle Franco had just been elected the city councilor of Rio de Janeiro 18 months prior to her death. At 38 years old, Franco was the only black female representative on the 51-member council, and one of seven women (The New York Times, 2018).