ABC News (Australia)
Published on 9 Apr 2019
“People want to break the system – and the great symbol to break the system was Bolsonaro” – Rodrigo Amorim, MP and friend of new President Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro vaulted to power on a pledge to smash corruption and endemic violent crime that sees around 60,000 in Brazil murdered each year. Bolsonaro lets police shoot to kill, his army of supporters love him for it. It seems not to matter that the former soldier praises past military dictatorships, or that he trash-talks women, or that he is a homophobe.
But there was one killing that’s become a rallying point for those who oppose the new president. Black, gay, favela-raised politician Marielle Franco was a fierce critic of a policing system that kills a reported 5000 people a year.
A year ago she and her driver were gunned down by unknown assailants. Just this month, two ex-military police were arrested in connection with the killings.
In death, Marielle Franco looms as large as she did in life. As preparations get under way for the spectacular annual Carnaval, huge flags are unfurled bearing her image. She has become a heroine and galvanising figure for opponents of the new order.
In Rio, reporter Sally Sara moves from wealthy gated communities to crime-infested favelas to explore why yet another democracy has turned to a hard-right absolutist leader.