Rallies held after Rio politician is shot dead

City council member driver shot to death in downtown Rio

The officials agreed to reveal details on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

According to police, two men in a auto fired nine shots into the politician's vehicle, killing her and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes on Wednesday night, as the Associated Press reported.

She added that nothing will stifle activist voices and said those at the protest vow to keep fighting.

"Marielle is here! Today and forever", some chanted in the crowd.

Ms. Franco, 38, was a black, gay woman from Maré, one of the city's most violent favelas, who became a human-rights activist and then an elected politician - an exceedingly rare figure in a country where white men from a traditional elite still predominate in politics.

"The Brazilian authorities must ensure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into this tragic killing", Amnesty International said in a statement.

"Matheus Melo was leaving the church".

Franco grew up in Mare, an area of northern Rio with a warren of favelas that sometimes erupt in violence. She empathized with immigrants, refugees and other oppressed groups.

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The governor of the state of Rio, Luiz Fernando Pezao, called Franco a "warrior", and described her killing as an "extreme act of cowardice". In the afternoon, thousands followed as the coffins were carried to their respective burial sites.

Franco's death came weeks after Brazil's president Michel Temer gave the military sweeping security powers in Rio's sprawling favela, where gang violence is rife. It's also being criticized because generals don't appear to have the appetite to take on major components of the violence: endemic police corruption and heavy-handed tactics. Franco had accused Rio's police of killing innocent people in their battle with drug gangs.

Jungmann said federal investigators would be involved in the investigation and that he had put Brazil's federal police at the disposal of local investigators. This year, the figure in one month alone - January - was 649, including 154 killed by police during various operations. Rio's police chief quickly refused help.

"We must understand extremely well the reasons behind this and go after those responsible", he said. "Justice will be done".

State and federal law enforcement agencies have announced investigations into the killing of Franco.

At Brazil's Congress in Brasilia, lawmakers of Franco's party demanded that an independent commission investigate the crime. "This has been going on forever and will only be worse with a military intervention". "The 41st Battalion of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police is terrorizing and raping residents of Acari". She was proud of her roots in Rio's impoverished, majority black favelas and earned a name as a fierce critic of alleged police atrocities.

Menezes, who met Franco in 2012 during municipal elections, detailed how she fought against prejudices in Brazil while denouncing systemic abuse.

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