By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Monday afternoon, April 16th, family members of slain councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, met with Rio’s Chief of Civil Police, Rivaldo Barbosa, to hear an update regarding the investigation into the murders of Franco and Gomes on March 14th.
After the almost two-hour meeting, Franco’s widow, Mônica Benício, spoke to reporters, expressing satisfaction regarding the progress of the investigation so far and confidence in the investigation going forward.
“We had a great meeting here today. I think, in some way, it reassured us,” she shared afterward. “We understand that we are all suffering for an answer. But there is no one more distressed, wanting an answer to what happened to Marielle and Anderson, than the families.”
She added, “We are all aware that it is not an easy case, but we have a highly qualified team taking care of the investigation.”
While not providing any specific details about the ongoing investigation, Police Chief Barbosa emphasized the case’s complexity while remaining hopeful for a resolution, sooner rather than later.
“We are dealing with a very complex crime, which requires more detailed investigation and this takes time,” Barbosa exclaimed. “It brings a bigger challenge, but we are facing this challenge day by day, and we have a very good expectation that we can solve this as soon as possible.”
Regarding the recent revelation from Brazil’s Minister of Public Security, Raul Jungmann, that investigators suspect police-linked militias may have been responsible for the Franco and Gomes murders, Barbosa reiterated that he would reserve any comment until after the investigation has concluded.
“The Rio de Janeiro Civil Police will only comment on the authorship and motivation at the end of the investigation….But I ask everyone to understand that we are using all means and we will not rest until we have solved this case.”
Sunday, April 14th, marked the one-month anniversary of the killing of Franco and her driver that sent shockwaves throughout Brazil and the world.
Demonstrators took to the streets in several Brazilian cities over the weekend to remember the fallen councilwoman and social activist, and urge a resolution to the investigation.