Tue May 28, 2024
May 28, 2024

Marielle and Anderson, Presente! Arrest of Masterminds was a Breakthrough, but Investigations Must Continue

By Opinão Socialista

The arrest of the masterminds behind the murder of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes, six long years after the crime, is a significant step forward in getting to the bottom of the case. The families of Marielle and Anderson, their comrades-in-arms, as well as the entire social movement, demand and deserve the answer that has echoed all these years: “Who ordered the murder of Marielle and Anderson?”

The arrest warrant carried out by the Federal Police on Sunday morning (March 24) against federal deputy Chiquinho Brazão and his brother, Domingos Brazão, an advisor to the State Court of Auditors (TCE), as well as that of the former head of Rio’s Civil Police, Rivaldo Barbosa, is a step forward in understanding this barbaric crime. Something that, as we are now seeing, has only been made possible by all the pressure, mobilization and struggle, which has faced all kinds of sabotage, inaction, even by one of the masterminds at the head of the Civil Police, in the case of Rivaldo Barbosa.

Rivaldo Barbosa was promoted by the then-Federal Intervenor of Rio de Janeiro [1], General Braga Netto, who would later become Bolsonaro’s Minister of Defense and coordinator of the recent coup attempt, exactly one day before the executions. From director of the homicide division, Braga Netto strategically installed Rivaldo at the head of the Civil Police. There, rather than hindering investigations, Rivaldo was an active organizer of these murders.

According to the Federal Police report read out by Justice Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, one of the reasons for the execution was Marielle’s opposition to a project by Chiquinho Brazão in Rio’s City Council to normalize the seizure of land used by militias in the city’s West Zone for the purposes of squatting and real estate speculation.

No confidence in the regime’s institutions

This Sunday’s arrests reinforce the twisted relationship between parliament, the police, the judiciary, and the militias – which are an organic part of these institutions – acting as a paramilitary arm to carry out their interests. This is not a “parallel power”, but the power of the bourgeois state itself.

Marcelo Freixo’s surprise at the involvement of Rivaldo Barbosa, the first person he claims to have called when he heard about the murders, shows that you can’t have any confidence in the institutions of the bourgeois state, especially in a crime against leaders of the movement. Rivaldo Barbosa was appointed head of the Civil Police against the recommendation of the institution’s own intelligence sector. Why did Braga Netto insist on this appointment?

The problem, however, is not limited to blind trust in institutions, but to the political alliances made with recognized militiamen and murderers. This is the case of Mayor Eduardo Paes (PSD) [2], an ally of the Lula government, who appointed Chiquinho Brazão as Municipal Secretary for Community Action. This appointment came days after new evidence emerged of the involvement of Chiquinho’s brother, Domingos Brazão, in the executions of Marielle and Anderson.

An even more outrageous case is that of the vice-president of the PT, Washington Quaquá, has openly defended Domingos Brazão. “I know Brazão and I’m his friend! Not only do I not believe that he would do such a brutal thing, but I know him in politics and this is the stuff of people with no political capacity,” Quaquá told the press last January. This is because Domingos Brazão is an ally of the PT [3] in the state. In other words, it’s not just a question of [the PT] allying with sectors of the bourgeoisie and abandoning any class criteria, but of allying with militiamen with links to the far right.

The investigations must continue

Justice Lewandowski declared on Sunday that “the work has been closed,” pointing to the supposed complete resolution of the case. But this is very far from the truth. What is Braga Netto’s involvement in the case? More than that, the Bolsonaro family itself is involved with militia members who were involved in the crime, such as Adriano da Nóbrega, leader of the militia to which Marielle and Anderson’s executors belonged, and honored by Flávio Bolsonaro at Alerj, who also employed the militia member’s ex-wife and mother in his office. Adriano’s own execution, in an obscure police operation in Bahia, has all the hallmarks of a file burning.

There are still more unanswered questions: would Rivaldo Barbosa, appointed by Braga Netto, alone have been able to obstruct the investigations for so many years? Everything points to the involvement of many more people, in all three spheres of power, to prevent the investigations from progressing.

This barbaric crime is far from being solved. We need to go all the way and punish all those responsible. And, as we have seen, it won’t be the courts, parliament at its various levels, or even the police that will solve it. Only pressure and popular mobilization will be able to guarantee real justice, confronting the institutions and the rotten alliances that protect these scumbags. Justice for Marielle and Anderson!

Originally published March 24, 2024 at opinaosocialista.com.br
Translated by: John Prieto

[1] – On February 21, 2018, then-President Michel Temer decreed a federal intervention in the security of Rio de Janeiro, placing military police, civil police, and firefighters in the state under federal control.
[2] – PSD is the Social Democratic Party, a centrist party which has historically collaborated with whoever is in power.
[3] – PT is the Workers’ Party of current and former President of Brazil, Lula.

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