Human rights activist Marielle Franco assassinated in her auto in Rio

In February Temer decided the federal intervention of Rio de Janeiro state giving the army control over police fire departments and the prison system in the region

Rio de Janeiro councillor Marielle Franco was shot multiple times in the head when a auto pulled up alongside hers and at least two people opened fire on Wednesday night.

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] called for a full investigation [press release] on Thursday into the killing of Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco.

Franco was shot several times as bullets sprayed her auto as it drove through Rio de Janeiro's risky north side.

Karol Balfe, Head of From Violence to Peace at Christian Aid, said: "Christian Aid strongly condemns this week's killings of human rights defenders in Brazil, which are a chilling indictment of the grave threats faced by those speaking out against injustice". Her advisor, Fernanda Chaves, who was also in the vehicle, survived the attack.

A crowd of several thousand gathered there Thursday, brandishing slogans alleging that Franco was executed, and demanding that Rio's military police be disbanded. "As a member of Rio de Janeiro's State Human Rights Commission, Marielle worked tirelessly to defend the rights of black women and young people in the favelas and other marginalised communities".

"Another killing of a young man that could be chalked up to the police", she tweeted.

The reported rise in police violence comes on the back of a federal government decree that allows the army to take over all security operations in Rio until the end of the year.

Security consultant Paulo Storani, a former commander of Rio's elite police force known as the BOPE, warned against jumping to conclusions about the police or blaming the military intervention, which he believes will ultimately be ineffective. The councilwoman opposed the move to militarize policing functions in the city.

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Franco's last post on Twitter called attention to police violence.

A member of the leftist Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), she surprised many by winning a seat on the Rio city council in 2016.

As an expert on police violence, last Saturday (March 10th), she accused officers of being overly aggressive in searching residents of gang-controlled shantytowns.

Police officials tell The Associated Press that it appears Franco was targeted, a suspicion shared by Franco's supporters.

"She broke barriers that many black women in the periphery thought were intractable", said Ilona Szabó, executive director of Igarapé Institute, which studies public safety policies.

"Matheus Melo was leaving the church. They come to kill our young!" she said. "She represented everything new that people could hope for - a black woman from the poor areas who got to where she could represent us and fought for all the big causes".

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.

"The climate of near total impunity in Rio de Janeiro needs to end once and for all", Canineu said.

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