By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Late Sunday, April 8th, the body of community activist, Carlos Alexandre Pereira, was found in a car riddled with bullets on Estrada Cumaru in Taquara in Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone).
The 37-year-old Pereira had been working as a volunteer community advisor in Taquara for councilman Marcello Siciliano. Pereira’s murder came just two days after Siciliano spoke to investigators regarding the March 14th murders of councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes.
“It was with great regret that I received the news of the death of our collaborator Carlos Alexandre Pereira,” said councilman Siciliano in a statement released on Monday (April 9th).
According to the councilman’s oﬀice, Pereira was mainly responsible for relaying community concerns to the councilman. On social media, in particular, Pereira was very active, often posting photos and videos of City Hall actions and initiatives in the area.
“During the time he was with us,” expressed Siciliano, “he did everything for his locality and was always available to help where necessary. I sympathize with the pain of his family.”
So far, police have yet to officially confirm whether Pereira’s murder is linked to the murders of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes. Just last Friday, April 6th, Siciliano had met with investigators regarding the councilwoman’s assassination.
In addition, according to Globo news, police oﬀicers who discovered Pereira’s body were told by several unidentified witnesses that before the shooting, one of the perpetrators shouted, “Enough of this, we have to shut his mouth.”
When questioned by local media regarding any link between Pereira’s death and his involvement in the Marielle Franco case, councilman Siciliano declined to comment telling Folha de São Paulo that the Franco “investigation is conﬁdential” and any leaks could “hinder police investigations.”
On March 14th, councilwoman Franco, along with her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were fatally shot in Franco’s car while returning home from an event in Centro called Jovens Negras Movendo Estruturas (Young Black Women Moving Structures). As of this writing, their murders remain unsolved.
Correction: The original version of this article has been changed to reflect that it was councilman Siciliano who spoke to authorities about the Franco investigation, not Pereira.