Rio police to reenact black activist's murder scene

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) –


Rio de Janeiro police said they will stage a reenactment Thursday of the murder of city politician and black rights activist Marielle Franco in an attempt to boost the investigation.

Franco's March 14 killing in what appeared to be a professional hit in the city center shocked Brazilians and prompted a big demonstration against Rio's surging violence.

With still no suspect announced, police have come under criticism for not doing enough. There have also been allegations of an official cover-up.

Late Thursday officers, from the homicide department will reenact the event in which both Franco and her driver were killed when assailants approached their car and opened fire, police said in a statement.

"During the reenactment, there could be shots fired at specific points for (ballistics) analysis. For this reason, access for pedestrians and vehicles will be blocked to the whole area," the statement said.

A rare black city council member, Franco had become a prominent critic of police violence in Rio and what she said was the targeting of blacks in the city's poverty-stricken favela neighborhoods.

Colleagues say the leftist politician was killed because she had angered police and underground paramilitary militias.

On Wednesday, local media quoted an unidentified police informant saying that he knew the murder was masterminded by another city councilor and a militia leader.

According to the informant, the councilor and militia commander ordered Franco's killing because of her human rights activism in the violent west of Rio, a militia stronghold.

The councilor, Marcello Siciliano, denied the allegations, telling journalists: "I'm being massacred on social media for something said by a person whose credibility is unknown. I never had political conflicts (with Franco)."