NOn Sunday, federal deputy José Chiquinho Brazão, his brother Domingos Brazão, a senior official at the Rio de Janeiro Court of Auditors, and the former head of the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police Rivaldo Barbosa were detained by the Brazilian Federal Police on suspicion of that they were the ones who ordered the murder of Marielle Franco.

The preventive detention was ordered today by judge Alexandre de Moraes, who is the rapporteur of the investigation into the murder of Marielle Franco at the STF.

After the arrest of the suspects, the judge submitted his decision to a vote by the First Panel of the STF, also composed of judges Cármen Lúcia, Cristiano Zanin, Luiz Fux and Flávio Dino, who maintained the arrest orders in a vote that was unanimous.

The brothers José Chiquinho Brazão and Domingos Brazão, as well as the former ‘Rio’ police chief Rivaldo Barbosa, were arrested as part of the Murder Inc. operation, as part of investigations that, in addition to the Federal Police, included the participation of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. -General of the Republic and the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil’s Minister of Justice and Public Security, Ricardo Lewandowski, said on Sunday, at a press conference, that the motivation for Marielle Franco’s murder was “complex because this group [família Brazão] has multiple interests”, but mentioned political and land disputes in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro as one of the motivations highlighted by police investigations.

“At this moment we are very clear who the perpetrators of this hateful, heinous crime of a political nature are,” said Lewandowski, who added that four other people investigated in the case were searched on Sunday and had documents seized.

The arrests of the alleged perpetrators of Marielle Franco’s death occurred four days after the STF validated a legal agreement with Ronnie Lessa, the perpetrator of the crime who has been in prison since 2019 along with another suspect, former military police officer Elcio Queiroz, who had already signed an agreement with the police authorities to clarify the case in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Ronnie Lessa is a former Rio de Janeiro police officer and member of vigilante gangs known as “milícias”, who control many of the illegal businesses in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and even supply people who, like him, work as hired gunmen.

The shooting murder of Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, occurred on March 14, 2018, and generated great commotion inside and outside Brazil.

The former councilor, black, homosexual and from a favela, stood out for her work as a defender of human rights, and for her denunciations against police violence in Rio de Janeiro.

Read Also: Three suspects arrested for ordering the murder of Marielle Franco


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