Women of Latin American Free Media Denounce the Persecution of Human Rights Activists in the Favelas

On March 14th, we awoke to the notice that Marielle Franco, councilwoman of the PSOL in Río de Janeiro, was assassinated together with her chauffer, Anderson Pedro Gomez, while she was headed home. Days afterwards, the ballistics experts determined that the bullets with which she was executed were from a batch bought in 2005 by the Federal Police. Marielle—woman, black, lesbian, feminist and favela dwelling—had constantly denounced the violence and deaths carried out as a result of the military occupation in the favelas of Río, in particular the practices of extermination carried out in the Favela of Acarí, by the 41st battalion of the Military Police, the most lethal in the city.

Like her, members of the Fala Akari collective, including our compañera Buba Aguiar, have been suffering threats and harassment for some time now for denouncing the abuses of the 41st battalion carried out daily against habitants of Acarí. Some have had to abandon their homes in the favela because their lives are being threatened and they recognize the assassination of Franco, was a clear message for all those who raise their voice. Despite the risk, they have decided not to keep quiet and continue.

Days after, on March 16th, an operation of the Military Police in the favela of Complexo de Alemao, an operation that has been daily now for ten years, left three people dead and various others injured. Among the dead was a two-year-old baby, an elderly woman and a man. Like Marielle, we ask ourselves, “how many more have to die for this to end?”

As communicators, audio-visual and radio workers of the free media of all of the Latin American territory, we know well from our common history the crimes of the state against those who raise their voice against violence and dispossession, against the systematic annihilation of our diverse forms of life.  For this reason, today we raise our voice so as to:

  • Send all of our support and solidarity to our compañeras of the Fala Akari Collective, that in spite of their lives being in danger, have decided not to keep quiet in the face of intimidation.
  • Demand justice for Marielle Franco and Anderson Pedro Gomez: clarification of the acts and punishment to those responsible for her execution.
  • Reject the political occupation and military intervention in the favelas of Río de Janeiro: An end to the Military Police, the result of the Brazilian civic-military and the genocide against the black and favela-dwelling people.

Translated from the original here: https://tomatecolectivo.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/mujeres-de-medios-libres-de-latinoamerica-denunciamos-la-persecucion-a-lxs-activistas-de-derechos-humanos-en-las-favelas/