Thousands turn out for the arrival of Franco's coffin at the Municipal Chamber, where a wake will be celebrated.

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Brazen murder of Rio councilwoman shocks Brazil

Crowds descended on the Rio de Janeiro state legislature Thursday, mourning the city councilwoman who was shot in the head four times.

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Bystanders look on as Rio's Civil Police officers transport Brazilian politician Marielle Franco's car, after she was found shot dead in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 15, 2018. 

Franco, 38, was elected as Rio's councilwoman through the Brazilian left-wing party PSOL, and was an outspoken critic of police brutality who was shot in the city center in an assassination-style killing as she was returning from a political event in the Lapa neighborhood, downtown Rio de Janeiro, on the evening of March 14. Franco and her driver where shot to death by two unidentified attackers who reportedly fired nine shots into the car. Authorities have said the killing appears to have been a targeted.

Bystanders look on as Rio's Civil Police officers transport Brazilian politician Marielle Franco's car on March 15 after she was found shot dead in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Franco, 38, a black councilwoman who was an outspoken critic of police brutality, was shot in the head four times as she was returning from a political event on Wednesday night. Her death touched a nerve in Latin America's largest nation, where more than 50 percent identify as black or mixed-race yet most politicians are white men.

Investigators, prosecutors and even drug gang leaders said the shooting of Marielle Franco, 38, a rising star in the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), appeared to be a political assassination.

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Women sit along the road and look on at the scene of Franco's murder.

Women comfort each other at the scene of Franco's murder.

Political violence is common in Brazil - but typically in smaller or more impoverished cities.

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Image: A police investigator inspects Franco's body.

A police investigator inspects Franco's body.

Franco's driver was also killed in the attack and her press officer was injured.

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Rio's state Legislator Marcelo Freixo, right, of the same political party as the murdered council member, is comforted as he stands close to the crime scene.

Rio's state Legislator Marcelo Freixo, right, of the same political party as Franco, is comforted as he stands close to the crime scene.

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Bullet holes are tagged on the car in which Franco was travelling when she was murdered.

Bullet holes are tagged on the car. 

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Demonstrators walk by graffiti reading "Fascist PM (Militarized Police)" during a protest against the murder of councilwoman Franco. Brazilians mourned for the councilwoman and activist who was shot in the city center in an assassination-style killing on the evening prior.

Demonstrators walk by graffiti reading "Fascist PM (Militarized Police)" during a protest against the murder on March 15. 

The attack came just a month after President Michel Temer put the military in charge of security in Rio, which is experiencing a spike in violence less than two years after hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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Thousands turn out for the arrival of Franco's coffin at the Municipal Chamber, where a wake will be celebrated.

Thousands turn out for the arrival of Franco's coffin at the Municipal Chamber, where her wake was celebrated.

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Demonstrators react as Franco's body arrives at the city council chamber.

Demonstrators react as Franco's body arrives at the city council chamber.

Ricardo Moraes / Reuters
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A woman, beside a photo of Franco, looks on at the demonstration.

A woman, beside a photo of Franco, looks on at the demonstration.

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Hundreds of mourners show up for the arrival of Franco's coffin.

Hundreds of mourners gather for the arrival of Franco's coffin.

Antonio Lacerda / EPA
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Mourners grieve, during the funeral for the slain Brazilian councilwoman and activist. Some 1,000 people stood under the tropical sun outside City Hall to greet her coffin as it arrived.

Mourners grieve during Franco's funeral.

Some 1,000 people stood under the tropical sun outside City Hall to greet her coffin as it arrived.

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Demonstrators protest outside the city council chamber ahead of the wake for Franco. A woman shouts as she holds a banner that reads "No to guns."

Demonstrators protest outside the city council chamber ahead of the wake for Franco. A woman shouts as she holds a banner that reads "No to guns."

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Relatives of the councilwoman and activist pay tribute during her funeral at Caju Cemetery in Rio de Janeiro.

Relatives of the councilwoman and activists pay tribute during her funeral at Caju Cemetery in Rio de Janeiro.

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People take part in a rally against Franco's murder, in Sao Paulo.

Demonstrators in Sao Paulo rally against Franco's murder. 

Leonardo Benassatto / Reuters
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A man lights a candle next to a sign in Sao Paulo reading "They will not keep us quiet."

A man lights a candle next to a sign reading "They will not keep us quiet."

Elected in 2016, Franco was a member of the left-leaning Socialism and Liberty Party known for her social work in poor and marginalized shantytowns, or favelas, and for her outspokenness against police violence, which disproportionately affects black residents.

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Brazilians demonstrate against Franco's murder in front of Rio's Municipal Chamber.

Brazilians demonstrate against Franco's murder in front of Rio's Municipal Chamber.

The Week in Pictures: March 8 - 15

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