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Brazil: Protests over murder of Rio politician

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By Lesley Alexander
Brazil: Protests over murder of Rio politician
Copyright  REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Protests are continuing in Brazil after the execution-style murder of a Rio de Janeiro councilwoman who was an outspoken critic of police killings of poor residents.

Human rights activist Marielle Franco, 38, was shot dead in her car last Wednesday, alongside her driver, in what many say looks to have been a political assassination.

She had been returning from a women's empowerment event in Rio.

The federal government decreed a month ago that Brazil's army would take over all security operations through the end of the year in Rio, where murders have risen sharply.

Franco, part of a commission overseeing the military intervention, harshly criticized the move on Sunday, saying it could worsen police violence against residents.

Franco, 38, a rising star in the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) also repeatedly criticised Rio's police for the repeated killings of innocents in the city's numerous shanty-towns who are often caught in the crossfire as drug gangs and officers engage in firefights in highly populated areas.

with Reuters