The killing of Marielle Franco on the UN radar

by Gustavo Macedo

[8 minute read]

On March 14th, less than a month into a federal military intervention that is supposed to fix the security crisis in the state of Rio de Janeiro, the brutal assassination of a Rio de Janeiro’s Councilwoman, Marielle Franco, has dragged new actors into an already intricate political situation – and this time they are international. The United Nations (UN), which had already been expressing concerns about the unfolding political situation, may now dive into the story head first.

The case of Marielle meets all the criteria for setting the UN machinery in motion. Politically, the great commotion that the story of Marielle’s murder generated nationally in Brazil earned it international political attention, including that of the UN, an organization that strategically chooses to focus its work on emblematic cases that can serve as examples of the fight for human rights around the world. Technically, the history of other recent similar cases killings in Brazil, the profile of the victim, the circumstances of the crime, its modus operandi and the allegations of people close to the victim should, in theory, be sufficient in order for the case to be picked up by the UN.

Continue reading “The killing of Marielle Franco on the UN radar”

Violence against women in Brazil: it is time to break the silence

by Talita Nascimento

May 29th, 1983. It is almost midnight, the biopharmacist Maria da Penha Fernandes is sleeping when her husband shoots her, leaving her paraplegic for life. Marco Antônio Heredia Viveros, her husband, was an economist and professor at that time. They first met at the University of São Paulo (USP), one of the most renowned universities in Latin America, where both were graduate students. It was not the first time that Marco Antônio had physically assaulted Maria da Penha, but she kept silent about it. Four months after this episode, he tried to electrocute her, and Maria da Penha decided to finally break her silence.

Continue reading “Violence against women in Brazil: it is time to break the silence”