Brazil: Supreme Court Upholds Arrest Of Suspects In Marielle Franco’s Death


By Felipe Pontes

The first panel of Brazil’s Supreme Court unanimously decided on Monday (Mar. 25) to maintain the imprisonment of the three men suspected of planning the crime and ordering the killing of councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes. The murders took place in 2018.

Justices Cármen Lúcia, Cristiano Zanin, Flávio Dino, and Luiz Fux followed the vote of Justice Alexandre de Moraes, rapporteur of the case, who had ordered the preventive detention of the three on Sunday (24).

The arrest order was examined in a 24-hour trial session online that began in the early hours of Monday (25).

In his decision, Justice Moraes wrote there was “strong evidence of materiality and authorship” of the planning of the murder by the three prisoners, as well as maneuvers to cover up the crime and hinder the investigations.

Apart from the rapporteur, the only one to present a written vote was Justice Dino. He wrote that the preventive detentions were justified in the face of a “criminal ecosystem” that had been set up within the government to cover up the crime.

The justices followed the opinion of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, according to which if the three “remain free, they will continue to obstruct the work of the Judicial Police, taking advantage of their economic power and their contacts with the illicit networks in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro.”

Brothers Domingos and Chiquinho Brazão and Civil Police chief Rivaldo Barbosa were arrested Sunday morning (24) during operation Murder Inc and were taken by the Federal Police to Brasília, where they arrived at around 4pm.


In an interview after leaving the Federal Police Superintendence headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Domingos Brazão’s lawyer denied he had anything to do with Marielle Franco or participated in her murder. “He is innocent and has nothing to do with this,” said lawyer Ubiratan Guedes.

Agência Brasil contacted Rivaldo Barbosa’s counsel and is awaiting a response. Chiquinho Brazão’s defense has not yet responded to requests for comment.


Agência Brasil (ABr) is the national public news agency, run by the Brazilian government. It is a part of the public media corporation Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), created in 2007 to unite two government media enterprises Radiobrás and TVE (Televisão Educativa).

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