Two men who may be involved in the execution of Rio de Janeiro councilwoman and human rights and black activist Marielle Franco in March were arrested this Tuesday in Rio. The two former law enforcement agents – ex-military police officer Alan de Moraes Nogueira and ex-military firefighter Luís Cláudio Ferreira Barbosa – are accused of murdering two men in February last year. Paramilitary militia leader Orlando Oliveira de Araújo, a.k.a. Orlando de Curicica, would have allegedly ordered the execution of Franco.
The former law enforcement agents and the men who were murdered were all members of the same group controlled by Orlando de Curicica, who is in prison on charges related to the syndicate and also the murder of Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes, who was driving the councilwoman home when they were shot to death.
The police found the suspects thanks to the testimony of a man who allegedly used to be connected to the gang, but quit and started to report on their activities in exchange for police protection.
This witness said the former agents were involved in the killing of Franco, but because the police is keeping the investigation on the ex-councilwoman’s case confidential, police chief William Batista did not disclose any information regarding what their alleged participation in the crime would be.
The same informant said they saw Orlando and councilman Marcelo Siciliano discussing Franco’s death because the councilwoman was getting in the way of their criminal activities in poor communities in Rio de Janeiro. Both accused deny any involvement in the case.
Moraes Nogueira’s lawyer claims his client did not commit any crimes, while Ferrerira Barbosa did not have a lawyer this morning at the police station. Their preventive arrest warrants were issued by a court and they will be heard by police chiefs about Franco’s case, as well as about their involvement in other crimes committed for the gang.
Edition: Brasil de Fato RJ | Translated by Aline Scátola