Fieldnotes from Brazil: Mayra Cotta De Souza on the Political Assassination of Marielle Franco, Rio’s fist queer black council woman

This piece is a letter from Mayra Cotta de Souza, a New School for Social Research PhD student in Politics, TCDS Alumnus, former TCDS Program Associate, and dear friend.
Friends, Colleagues and Comrades,
I am writing to share a devastating piece of news from Brazil: Marielle Franco, the first queer black woman from the favela to be elected Representative for the Rio de Janeiro Assembly, was assassinated tonight on her way home.
Since Rio de Janeiro was put under military intervention, Marielle had been relentlessly denouncing the abuses perpetuated by the police against the communities in the favelas. She was the chair of a special committee at the Assembly responsible for the investigation of police brutality and abuse. On Saturday, she made public the murder of two young men during a police operation in Acari, a favela in Rio. Tonight, as she was returning home from an event on the participation of black women in institutional politics, a car chased after the car she was in, shot at it nine times, and then took off.  Marielle and the driver are dead. By all accounts, this was nothing short of an execution.
Marielle was brilliant, radical, and fiercely committed to the fight against racism, sexism, and the violent attack on the poor communities of the favelas.  Some of you will remember her from her show of support in a video for our ‘Feminism for the 99%’ event last year at the New School.
Something deeply sinister is brewing in Brazil right now. Marielle’s execution under the military control of security in Rio is shocking and truly soul crushing. The sheer violence of this system leaves a devastating feeling of impotence. But Marielle shall never be forgotten and her work, her struggles, and her beliefs shall not end with her life.
In solidarity,
Mayra