On the date marking three years of the murder of city councillor and human rights defender Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes, Amnesty International Brazil will deliver on Friday, March 12, a petition including more than 1 million signatures of people from Brazil and around the world who, for three years, demand justice for Marielle and Anderson. The request for justice will be handed to the Acting Governor, Claudio Castro, and the Attorney General of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Luciano Mattos.
Known for organizing street mobilizations with activists, Amnesty International Brazil opted for a mobile action, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The act “Voices for Marielle and Anderson” will be heard throughout the streets of Rio de Janeiro, also on March 12th. A truck carrying a LED panel will circulate in key points of the city (the site of Marielle’s murder; in front of Guanabara Palace, headquarters of Rio’s State Government; and in front of the State Attorney for Rio de Janeiro, besides others) announcing the message: “Three years is too much time without answers! We demand justice for Marielle and Anderson.” Amnesty International Brazil brought together more than 10 different languages in messages coming from countries such as Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, Portugal, Ukraine, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Mongolia, Taiwan, New Zealand, and others.
“Amnesty International Brazil has been crying out for justice since the beginning of the case. Three years is far too long without knowing who ordered Marielle’s killing and why. Our mobilization demanding justice has crossed Brazil’s borders and gained support from thousands of people around the world. Like us, they take the injustice against Marielle and Anderson personally and come together to demand that the case be resolved definitively and that the commanders and perpetrators be arrested, prosecuted, and held accountable,” says Jurema Werneck, Executive Director of Amnesty International Brazil.
The Marielle Franco case completes three years on Sunday, March 14, and so far the commanders of the crime have not yet been discovered, and those accused of participating in the deaths have not yet been tried by the Trials Court. Amnesty International Brazil monitors this delay in the resolution of the crimes with great concern.
“In Brazil and the world, human rights defenders are still threatened, persecuted and murdered. Our country is the third most dangerous country for defenders of human rights and the environment. States must guarantee the security and freedom of action of individuals who fight for human rights and ensure that when their rights are threatened or violated, serious, unbiased, and effective investigations are carried out and lead to the proper identification and trial of the perpetrators. Impunity cannot be the answer to Marielle’s brutal murder. Amnesty International also believes that it is past time for Brazilian authorities to show transparency, enabling society to know and assess the weaknesses, limitations and successes of this investigation so that justice can be expected. Impunity must not be the message sent by Rio de Janeiro and the country to families, to rights defenders, to Brazilian society and to the world.”
Hearings on the Case
Amnesty International Brazil and the Marielle Franco Institute sent requests for online hearings to the Acting Governor, Claudio Castro, and to the Attorney General of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Luciano Mattos. These requests also mark the acts on the third anniversary of the murder of councillor and human rights defender Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes. Both Amnesty and the Institute hope that a line of dialogue is established between the victims’ families and their representatives with the newly innaugurated officers of the state of Rio de Janeiro, and that authorities finally share what measures they have taken for the resolution of the case. This will be the first time Amnesty International Brazil and the families of Marielle and Anderson meet with the State of Rio de Janeiro’s new Governor and Attorney General.
“Failure to solve this crime sends a clear message from official authorities to Brazilians and the world, that violations against human rights defenders are allowed in Brazil. Demanding justice for Marielle means not accepting that other murders of human rights defenders go unpunished. The Acting Governor, Claudio Castro, and the Attorney General of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Luciano Mattos, must show transparency and inform Brazilian society and the global community about what they did along the last year to guarantee justice for Marielle,” explains Jurema Werneck.
Marielle and Other Human Rights Defenders
On March 14th, exactly three years after Marielle’s killing, Amnesty International Brazil will release a video in its official social media profiles. Narrated by actress Taís Araújo, who kindly offered her voice for the project, Marielle’s struggle will be remembered along with the story of 11 other women human rights defenders.
Among the defenders chosen for the film are women of our time such as quilombola Sandra Maria Andrade and the mothers who struggle for justice for their children killed by State agents, like Débora Maria da Silva, Fátima Pinho, Maria Dalva Correia da Silva, and Rute Fiuza Silva. The video will also include Chelsea Manning, gender equality and information security advocate, a former transexual officer of the US Army. Jani Silva, defender of the Amazon, who became known worldwide during the 2020 Write for Rights Campaign, is also honoured for her defense of the environment in Colombia. Two other environmentalists are also revered: Dorothy Stang, defender of the right to land in the Brazilian Amazon, murdered on February 12, 2005, and Berta Cárceres, indigenous leader from Honduras, murdered on March 2, 2014. Both were killed for not silencing their voices in the face of injustice in their territories. Also included are the more recent advocates and young activists Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg, who are revolutionizing the struggle for the right to education and against the climate crisis. And finally Anielle Franco, Marielle’s sister and Executive Director of the Marielle Franco Institute.
“The barriers that human rights defenders have to overcome are still enormous. We gathered a variety of women in this video to show that each one of them has the drive, the engagement, the joy and the hope that we saw in Marielle’s actions and speeches. As a global movement and through the strength of these women, Amnesty International will continue to expose injustice, fighting for the rights of all those who struggle to make our world more diverse, inclusive and fair,” states Jurema.
About Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice to heart. The organization carries out campaigns to respect and protect internationally recognized human rights in Brazil and around the world. Created in 1961 by British lawyer Peter Benenson, it has been operating in Brazil since the Military Regime and its headquarters opened in Brazil in 2012.