Brazilian politician Marielle Franco killed in drive-by shooting

A police officer works on the crime scene where the council member Marielle Franco and her driver where both shot to death by two unidentified attackers in Rio de Janeiro Brazil Wednesday

A picture of Rio de Janeiro's city councillor Marielle Franco, 38, who was shot dead, is seen outside the city council chamber in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 15, 2018.

Those murdered include popular city councillor, Marielle Franco, whose funeral took place yesterday (March 15th), and environmental activist Paulo Nascimento.

Reports say two men in a auto drew up alongside her vehicle, opened fire, and sped away.

Five of the bullets were said to have hit Ms Franco in the head.

After news of her death, nationwide protests were scheduled with more than 70,000 people and organizations confirming planned demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro.

Black Brazilians have lost one of their biggest champions as beloved activist and politician, Marielle Franco, was assassinated Wednesday night after speaking at a Black women's empowerment event.

On Sunday on her Facebook page, Franco decried what she alleged to be the police killing of two boys during a police raid in an area called Acari.

The deployment of Brazil's military - which security analysts say has so far failed to make any obvious difference - was strongly criticized by Franco who feared this would lead to still more bloodshed and human rights abuses.

Police violence is a human rights crisis in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro.

Two weeks ago, Franco was named a rapporteur in a special commission in Rio, which was enacted by the city council to monitor the current military intervention in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

A member of the leftist Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), she got the fifth highest vote count in Rio's 2016 council elections.

Franco grew up in Maré-a complex of 16 favela communities and one of Rio's largest slums-and has been an outspoken advocate for favela residents denouncing police aggression. "How many more will have to die for this war to end?" she wrote on her personal Twitter account.

An investigator with Rio's police force also said that the prime motive appeared to be Franco's calling out police for allegedly killing innocents in their constant battles with drug gangs. "Matheus Melo was walking out of church. They come to kill our young!" she said.

Human rights groups condemned the killing of the human rights defender and called for investigation.

Federal police said in a statement that they were investigating "the origin of the ammunition and the circumstances of the casings found at the scene of the crime".

Gen. Richard Nunes, appointed as Rio's public security secretary, said in a statement there will be a "full investigation on the assassination". Throughout the day, worldwide human rights agencies, such as Amnesty global and Human Rights Watch called for a rigorous investigation of the crime. 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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