Brazilian police arrest new suspect over Marielle Franco murder

The former firefighter is suspected of hiding the weapons used by the ex police suspects who are on trial over the shooting

Brazilian police on Monday arrested another suspect in connection with the 2018 murder of popular Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes, a crime that shocked Brazilians and human rights activists globally.

A preventive arrest warrant and seven search and seizure warrants were served, Justice Minister Flavio Dino confirmed in a press conference.

The man arrested was named as former firefighter Maxwell Simoes Correia, and he is suspected of hiding the weapons used by the ex police suspects who are on trial over the shooting, according to Dino.

“We are close to solving this horrendous crime,” Dino said.

Franco, 38 at the time of her death, was a Black, openly gay, and progressive councilwoman born in a poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhood. Investigators believe her killing to be a political assassination carried out by paid hit men.

In March 2019, two former police officers, Ronnie Lessa and Elcio de Queiroz, were indicted on charges of shooting Franco and Gomes. They remain under federal prison custody.

Franco, a rising star in the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), was an outspoken critic of police killings of poor Rio residents and her death sparked nationwide protests by Brazilians fed up with endemic violence.

-Reuters

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