This Tuesday, 14 March 2023, will mark five years — 60 months or 1,825 days — without Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes.
In response to the unhurried pace of the investigations, Amnesty International Brazil is putting on the event “A five-year series of injustices”, from 9am to 6pm, at Praça Mauá in Rio de Janeiro. The aim is to demand justice and resolution of the case of the execution of the human rights defender and her driver. To keep the memory of the victims and the demand for answers alive, an 8-metre-wide by 2.5-metre-tall panel in the form of a timeline will be set up to symbolize the half-decade milestone. An online petition is also open on Amnesty International Brazil’s website and pressure is being applied to the federal government of Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, the state government of Cláudio Castro, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office to engage all possible resources and efforts so that the investigations can be conducted quickly, impartially, transparently and effectively.
Five years of ‘injustices and unanswered questions’
“It is a five-year series of injustices and unanswered questions. Amnesty International is joining the whole world in their memory, for justice and compensation for Marielle and Anderson and their families,” said Jurema Werneck, executive director of Amnesty International Brazil.
“Over the past five years, six different police chiefs, eleven prosecutors, four police secretaries, three governors, one federal ombudsman, two attorneys general and three presidents of the republic have been in charge of the investigations, and we still have no answers. Who ordered the killing of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes, and why? It is unacceptable that, after half a decade, none the authorities that have gone through this case have been able to solve it. In light of all this, we are calling on President Lula to establish, through international cooperation, an international mechanism of independent experts to support the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the police and other state institutions in investigating this case. We do not want to come back to the streets a year from now to demand answers.”
Persistent lack of transparency
Amnesty International Brazil once again states and urges that the families of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes and their representatives should be assured the right to a transparent investigation with access to the case file. That has not happened so far. A hearing was held with members of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro on 7 March and the Amnesty International Brazil team has requested an audience with the governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Claudio Castro, for 14 March.
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“The persistent lack of transparency is unacceptable, when not even family members and their lawyers have access to the investigators’ work. For five years we have been requesting meetings with the state authorities and we been told that they will make an effort to solve this crime, but so far nothing. It is unacceptable that, after half a decade, no-one has been convicted for this crime that shocked the world,” said Jurema Werneck.
Families of Marielle and Anderson continue to demand justice
During these five years, Amnesty International Brazil, family members of the victims and the surviving victim have had several meetings with the authorities responsible for ensuring swift and effective investigations, such as the governor of Rio de Janeiro, who is responsible for the police at state level, the heads of the General Homicide and Personal Safety Department in Rio de Janeiro, as well as various Attorneys General and prosecutors in the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rio de Janeiro, none of whom have so far provided any effective answers.
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During this period of half a decade, six different police chiefs, eleven prosecutors, four police secretaries, three governors, one federal ombudsman, two attorneys general and two presidents of the republic have been involved in the case – which has still not been resolved.
Five years represent lives, dreams and achievements. Marielle Franco was cut down when a mother, a woman, a councillor, a daughter, a godmother and a sister. She did not see her daughter graduate, her sister get her masters and become a minister of state; she did not see or experience little day-to-day joys along with Monica, her partner. Anderson Gomes also had his life cut short and did not see the achievements of his wife, of his son, and could no longer spend happy times with his family. Many lives and a great deal of struggle can be fitted into five years. Amnesty International Brazil will not give up encouraging people around the world to put pressure on the authorities so that they can answer, “Who ordered the killing of Marielle and Anderson and why?”