Crime

LGBT activist Marielle Franco’s fiancée “waiting for her to come back” one month after murder

Bea Mitchell April 14, 2018
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Mônica Benício has spoken out following the murder of her fiancée, black feminist LGBT activist Marielle Franco.

Benício was due to marry councillor and activist Franco next year. Franco was an openly serving lesbian politician who fought for minorities across Rio de Janeiro, where she grew up in one of the many favelas.

She won the fifth-highest vote count of council members in 2015, defying the odds which were set against her as a black, gay woman.

Franco, 38, and her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes, 39, were shot in Brazil one month ago.

(Mariella Franco/Facebook)

She often spoke openly about the need to crack down on discrimination against minority groups, as well as police violence, who she said exercised excessive force.

Speaking to The Guardian, Franco’s fiancée Benício has opened up about her death, revealing that she’s still “waiting for her to come back”.

“I screamed and I shouted. I smashed part of the house… None of it seemed real… It was like I was having a nightmare and would wake up at any moment. But as more and more friends arrived it became more and more real. More concrete. More desperate,” she said.

Benício continued: “There are two Marielles: the one we are all out on the streets shouting is alive and the Marielle who is my companion and who I still haven’t managed to mourn. I still haven’t accepted this has happened.”

A woman at the demonstration against the murder of Mariella Franco (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)

“I don’t question at all that it was a political crime,” she added. “She was our only black female councillor – a black, lesbian woman from the favelas occupying a position of power that’s predominantly reserved for the white men who make up this ‘Brazilian elite’.”

“I’m waiting for her to come back,” Benício admitted. “Any time now.”

Following the attack, thousands took to the streets outside of Rio de Janeiro’s council chamber to protest against the growing violence in Brazil.

The demonstration against the murder of Mariella Franco (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Officials have confirmed that it appears Franco was specifically targeted and not shot in a random attack.

A “full investigation” is going to be carried out over the death, confirmed the head of public security Richard Nunes.

More: Americas, Brazil, Brazil, Marielle Franco

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