March 19, 2023
March 14 marked the fifth anniversary of the brutal murder of Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes. And we are nowhere close to knowing who ordered the killings and their motives.
By: PSTU Rio de Janeiro
The delay in the investigations and results have been justified by the case’s complexity and the perpetrators’ “professionalism.” Even the leaders of Marielle’s party, PSOL, backed up this reasoning amid the various protests denouncing the delay in resolving the case. Even if we suppose Marielle’s killers were, in fact, professional assassins, this has not been the leading cause of the delay. Rather, it is the fact that the forces responsible for solving the case also participated in the crime.
Investigations and press surveys point to a complex and powerful network involving militias and politicians, including former president Jair Bolsonaro and his children. For this reason, the following question has been asked: “Who ordered Bolsonaro’s neighbor to kill Marielle?”
What are the political, social, and ideological links between the militia (and specifically the perpetrators of the murder) and the Bolsonaro clan? As for the crime’s motives, Raul Jungmann, Michel Temer’s former Minister of Public Security, has stated that it was a “plot” with “interests involving public agents, militias, and politicians” that is hindering the case’s resolution. In other words, it is likely that the motive for Marielle’s murder was her struggle against paramilitary groups or militias.
“Brazil, the time has come to listen to the Marias, Mahins, Marielles, malês”
Marielle was a PSOL councilwoman involved in the struggle for Human Rights and the fight against paramilitary militias. She was a Black woman, a lesbian, and a native of Favela da Maré, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Her murder shocked and mobilized thousands in Rio, Brazil, and the world.
If today her murderers are in prison, it is because there was an important struggle. Large mobilizations took the streets all over the country.
Today, Marielle is no longer just Marielle. It was not for nothing that in 2019 the Mangueira samba school memorialized Marielle by pluralizing her name and putting it in the lyrics quoted above. She became a symbol of the struggle of those oppressed and on the periphery. A symbol of the struggle against the powerful, she is also a symbol of the need to fight to survive within the capitalist system that plagues us.
It is in the struggle that we find ourselves!
Marielle was a councilwoman. But, precisely because Marielle has become a symbol, something that goes beyond her own life story and struggles, we should not minimize the lessons we can draw from her life.
Our task is not to have more “Marielles” inside parliament as the PSOL continues to do. Rather, we want more “Marielles” in parliament as defenders of the struggles and to denounce the capitalist system. We want more “Marielles” strengthening and combining these struggles with the strategy of socialist revolution, for a society without oppressors and oppressed, without exploiters and exploited.
It is necessary to continue the struggle in the streets and with mobilizations that call for justice for the deaths of Marielle and Anderson. We do not deny that the case could be resolved by the bourgeois justice system in light of the crises and chaos that occurred in the three powers of the Republic, which are not unrelated to Brazil’s broader economic and social crises. Yet it is only through struggle that we will be able to solve the pressing problems in the lives of all “Marielles” throughout the country.
In this struggle, we cannot give in to fear. Marielle’s death showed us that the powerful are not playing games. But neither are we. Our struggle and organization can and must guarantee our self-defense. Workers must organize to resist the attacks of the state, the Military Police (MP), traffic police, and the militia. Especially workers, women, Black women and men, and LGBT people must rely on their strength against racists, sexists, LGBT-phobia, and against the evils of capitalism. These sectors also must organize.
We cannot trust the justice system, the police, or the institutions of democracy controlled by the bourgeoisie. We will defend ourselves from attacks and persecution. We have the strength!
If we are the ones who make the wheel of history turn, if we are the ones who produce everything, we are the ones who can ensure our own lives and our safety. If it is true that, as they say in the Mangueira samba song, winner of the Rio 2019 carnival, “there is dark blood trampled behind the gilded hero,” it is from that blood that we will draw the strength to change the face of the country.