By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An extensive security scheme was set up on Thursday night in the center of Rio de Janeiro to recreate the assassination of councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes, on March 14th. Real bullets were used during the more than five hours of recreation of the assassination scene.

Brazil, Rio,Soldiers block off street for the reconstruction of Marielle Franco's murder
Soldiers block off street for the reconstruction of Marielle Franco’s murder, photo by Fernando Frazão/Agencia Brasil.

Police, army soldiers and four eyewitnesses recreated the assassination scene, while bystanders, including local and foreign media, tried to looked on. Authorities, however, placed large black tarps around the area to limit onlookers from visual access to the reconstruction.

According to officials, real bullets were used to help eyewitnesses identify whether it was a gun or a machine gun that fired into the car.

Several streets surrounding the area where Franco’s car was hit by thirteen bullets in March were blocked off to traffic. The air space above the area was also blocked off to planes and helicopters during the night for security reasons.

On Thursday Public Security Minister, Raul Jungmann, told reporters that the case will soon be resolved and admitted there is evidence of the participation of a lawmaker and police officers in the murder.

“I stated before that everything was pointing at the militias. These (men) and others are being investigated and the Marielle (Franco) case investigation is reaching its final stage, and I believe that soon we must have results, “said Jungmann of councilman Marcello Siciliano and former military police officer Orlando Oliveira de Araujo, two of the individuals being investigated for the assassination.

Both Siciliano and Araujo have denied any involvement in the assassination. Councilman Siciliano stated that he had worked on several city bills with Franco and was in good terms with the councilwoman.

Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, were shot to death after leaving a town meeting in downtown Rio. Franco was a human rights activist and favela-community resident who had recently been chosen by the city’s legislature to monitor the federal government’s military intervention on the city.

Authorities believe, however, she was killed by people opposing her work with favela communities, especially women’s groups, and the LGBT community.


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