Committee for Justice for Marielle promotes international seminar on the struggle for justice in the case
With the aim of promoting exchanges between countries on the struggle for justice, an international seminar will be held to mark 2,000 days since the murder of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes. The event will bring together important names such as Achille Mbembe and Bertha Cáceres.
The Committee for Justice for Marielle and Anderson is organizing the International Seminar “5 Years of Struggle for Justice for Marielle and Anderson” close to the date marking 2,000 days since the brutal murder. This international legal exchange will take place from September 20 to 22 at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Estadual do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – UERJ), with the aim of promoting the exchange of knowledge regarding the struggle for justice in the emblematic case of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes.
One of the main objectives of the seminar is to bring together civil society organizations, human rights defenders, lawyers, and other actors of the national and international justice system working in the struggle for justice in cases of genderized and racial political violence and crimes against the lives of human rights defenders, especially Black women, in Latin America.
Based on the critical perspectives and experiences of the struggle for justice in the case of Marielle and Anderson and other cases in Latin America, the seminar will stimulate critical reflections and strategies for international solidarity in the struggle against political violence. The profile of the panelists and participants includes scholars, lawyers, and other actors of the national and international justice system, as well as human rights defenders, civil society organizations, and representatives of public authorities from Brazil and other Latin American countries.
The participation of Bertha Zúniga Cáceres – daughter of the Honduran social leader Berta Cáceres, assassinated in 2016 – and Achille Mbembe – professor and researcher of history and political science at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa – has been confirmed.
“The Seminar 5 Years of Struggle for Justice for Marielle and Anderson will be a unique opportunity to strengthen the network of actors committed to the defense of human rights and the search for justice. We believe that only by connecting, producing knowledge, and sharing experiences can we move forward in building a more just and equal society,” says Lígia. “O Seminário 5 anos de luta por Justiça por Marielle e Anderson será uma oportunidade única para fortalecer a rede de atores comprometidos com a defesa dos direitos humanos e a busca por justiça. Acreditamos que somente através da conexão, da produção de conhecimento e da troca de experiências poderemos avançar na construção de uma sociedade mais justa e igualitária”, comenta Lígia.
The event will be broadcast on the Marielle Franco Institute’s YouTube channel and registration should open in the next few days through the event’s website.
The crime marked Brazilian and world political history, demonstrated the fragility of democracy in our country, and raised the importance of debating political violence based on gender and race, LGBT-phobic lethal violence, and attacks against human rights defenders in Brazil. For half a decade, there have been no answers, reflecting the recurrent negligence and structural impunity in cases of crimes against the lives of human rights defenders.
Recently, the plea bargain of former military police officer Élcio de Queiroz, who confessed to his involvement in the crime, was made public. The accusation served as the basis for an operation in which former firefighter Maxwell Simões Corrêa, known as Suel, was arrested and accused of carrying out undercover operations against the councilwoman. The report showed that the crime had apparently been planned well in advance and that they were waiting for an opportunity. Suel had already been convicted in 2021 for interfering in the investigation of the case.
“Achieving justice for Marielle means that the State must, among other things, implement measures capable of changing the structural conditions that have promoted and failed to prevent human rights violations like this one,” says Brisa Lima, the Institute’s legal advisor. “
About the Committee for Justice for Marielle and Anderson
The Committee was created to consolidate the collective efforts of civil society organizations in the struggle for justice for Marielle and Anderson and to strengthen the families in the face of the numerous changes in command of the investigation, obstructions, and leaks of information.
The Committee for Justice for Marielle and Anderson is an organization coordinated by the Marielle Franco Institute, which includes Justiça Global, Terra de Direitos, Amnesty International Brazil, Monica Benício’s mandate, and the families of Marielle and Anderson. The Committee leads actions for articulation, mobilization, and strategic litigation in the case of Marielle and Anderson, which remains unsolved by the Brazilian State.
On March 14, 2018, councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, were brutally murdered in the downtown region of Rio de Janeiro. In 2023, half a decade after the crime, the question remains unanswered: who killed Marielle and Anderson?
In response to Marielle’s murder, the family founded the Marielle Franco Institute in 2019 in order to inspire, connect, and empower Black, LBTQIA+, and marginalized women to continue to move the structures of society for a more just and equal world, so that more Black and favela women enter politics and are not discriminated against.
After Marielle’s death, there was an increase in cases of political violence against historically underrepresented Black cis and trans women and human rights defenders, which mobilized the Marielle Franco Institute to organize the permanent campaign “Não Seremos Interrompidas” (“We Will Not Be Interrupted”), a platform through which – together with other civil society organizations such as Justiça Global and Terra de Direitos – we fight for the protection and safety of Black, LBTQIA+ and marginalized women who take positions in politics.
Marielle was a Black, bisexual activist and intellectual, a mother, from the Maré favela, a human rights defender, and a parliamentarian elected by the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) in 2016, who fought throughout her career against police violence and the genocide of the Black population. Anderson Gomes was a father, a husband, and a friend. He worked hard to support his family and left behind a son who was one and a half years old at the time. After a year and three months in office, Marielle was brutally murdered along with her driver, Anderson Gomes, on March 14, 2018, when the state of Rio de Janeiro was under federal intervention in public security. To this day, the Brazilian State has yet to answer the questions: who killed Marielle and why?
The study “On the Front Line: violence against human rights defenders in Brazil”, carried out by Terra de Direitos and Justiça Global, shows that during the four years of former President Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party – Partido Liberal/PL, in Portuguese), 1,171 cases of violence against human rights defenders were recorded, culminating in 169 murders.
“These figures are horrifying and demonstrate the importance of amplifying the national and international impact of Marielle and Anderson’s case so that more and more people become actively involved in the search for justice. By disseminating up-to-date information about the case, we want to increase visibility and pressure so that concrete and satisfactory answers can be obtained,” says Lígia Batista, Executive Director of the Marielle Franco Institute.
September 20 (Wednesday)
17h - Opening with the Committee for Justice for Marielle and Anderson
17h30 – Roundtable 1: 5 Years of Struggle for Justice for Marielle and Anderson: The Importance of Racializing the Human Rights Debate
September 21 (Thursday)
09:30 to 11:00 - Roundtable 2: Deadly violence against human rights defenders in Brazil and around the world and the role of the UN in protecting the lives of defenders
11:00 to 12:30 - Roundtable 3: The jurisprudence of the IACHR and impunity in the case of crimes against the lives of human rights defender
14:00 to 16:00 - Roundtable 4: Esperanza Protocol: Protocol for the Investigation of Crimes against Human Rights Defenders
16:15 to 18:00 - Roundtable 5: Strategies to fight for justice in cases of political femicide in Latin America
September 22 (Friday)
9:30 to 11:00 – Roundtable 6: Anti-Black Genocide: Necropolitics and Racial Segregation
11:00 to 12:30 - Roundtable 7: Victimologies of the South: What is the Place of Victims and Their Families in Criminal Investigations and Proceedings?
14:00 to 16:00 - Roundtable 8: Gender, Race and Political Violence: Black Women’s Political Participation and Democracy
16:00 to 17:00 – Closing ceremony: Cultural program
Seminar: 5 Years of Struggle for Justice for Marielle and Anderson: An Event of International Advocacy and Legal Connection
Date: September 20th, 21st, and 22nd.
Where: State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)
Address: Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Registration for the seminar will open shortly. For more information, visit the event’s website.
Actions: Human Rights Defenders
Axes: Human rights policy and culture