Marielle Franco, vereadora do PSOL assassinada em atentado em 2018
Marielle Franco [Source:]

“In a serious country we wouldn’t have an investigation dragging on for four years,”— Marinete da Silva, mother of slain Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Four-plus years after the assassination of Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco (38), social media giant Facebook has yet to provide investigators with the full stored data of Internet users who visited her social media account prior to the double homicide.

Marielle Franco [Source:]

This situation remains in limbo despite attempting to reach an agreement to hand over data to a special investigative task force established by Rio de Janeiro’s Public Prosecutor’s (MP-RJ) office back in March 2021.

In March 2022 Google, after protracted court battles to uphold its privacy policy, finally provided prosecutors with additional stored data that could possibly help solve the case. However, in both situations, prosecutors still await the full transfer of stored data within the scope of the investigation.

Ongoing reluctance by the two tech giants to provide online search engine details and information of social media users who visited Marielle’s posts of a public event she attended on March 14, 2018, the night of the assassination, has hampered investigators.

The public debate Marielle attended was hosted at the Casa das Pretas in the Lapa neighborhood of central Rio de Janeiro. Shortly after its completion, Marielle and her driver, Anderson Gomes (39), were ambushed and fatally gunned down in their moving vehicle just kilometres from the building.

758 Google Headquarters Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime

New Equipment, Same Investigation

It is no secret that big tech oligarchs routinely sell users’ data to advertisers. Also, from time to time, they arbitrarily and without prior warning shut down social media and fundraising accounts. Despite these facts, they remain adamant in upholding their privacy policy in Marielle’s assassination case. The MP-RJ has purchased advanced technological equipment, allowing investigators to unlock cell phone passwords of suspects. Never seen before surveillance videos captured at residential homes and businesses obtained from the Traffic Engineering Company (CET-Rio) are also being analyzed.

The images correspond to the car route taken by the assassins from the opulent neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro’s west zone to Estácio, a central Rio de Janeiro community where Marielle and her driver were killed.

“We have all of the technical agencies, personnel from the Intelligence and Security Coordinator (CSI) who are analyzing the images,” said Bruno Gangoni, lead prosecutor in the investigation. He heads a team of eight prosecutors dedicated to uncovering not only who pulled the trigger but the individual or group who masterminded and ordered Marielle’s assassination. “I’m hopeful.…Plenty of material remains to be analyzed and I believe we can, possibly, find something.”

Bruno Gangoni posa para foto enquanto ainda atuava no Gaesp; ele vai chefiar o Gaeco
Bruno Gangoni [Source:]

Over the past four years, Marielle’s family members have criticized the inquiry. It has not proceeded without a fair share of institutional corruption. One case included the now former Prosecutor General of the Republic, Racquel Dodge, accusing former state legislator Domingos Brazão, attorney Camila Moreira Lima Nogueira, as well as federal police officer Hélio Khristian Cunha de Almeida and Rio de Janeiro military police officer Rodrigo Jorge Ferreira, of attempting to obstruct the investigation.

Then, one year into the inquiry, two men were imprisoned for Marielle’s assassination: Retired police officer Ronnie Lessa was accused of being the triggerman. Apart from evidence pointing to him being in the assassin’s vehicle, investigators also revealed that Lessa received a bank deposit totalling R$100,000 (approximately $19,250 at the current exchange rate—June 22) seven months after Marielle was fatally shot four times.

Exclusivo: Ronnie Lessa, réu pela morte de Marielle, fala da arma do crime  | VEJA
Ronnie Lessa being taken into custody. [Source:]

Lessa also lived in Vivendas da Barra, the same gated community as former Brazilian congressman and current president Jair Bolsonaro. The private complex’s doorman testified that Élcio Queiroz, a former military police officer accused of being Lessa’s driver on the night of the double homicide, gained entry to Vivendas da Barra on the evening in question by saying he was visiting Bolsonaro.

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Élcio Queiroz [Source:]

Naturally, his testimony was contested by defense attorneys. Nevertheless, two main questions remain unanswered: (1) Who hired Lessa and Queiroz to carry out the hit; and (2) How big tech’s reluctance to cooperate fully with investigators, based on the contradiction of upholding their privacy disclaimers, obstruct the inquiry to locate the masterminds of the assassination?

Militias of Rio de Janeiro

On April 7, 2022, at least 110 officers from Rio de Janeiro’s Homicide and Internal Affairs Military Police Station conducted a search-and-arrest warrant operation at addresses linked to six military police officers connected to Lessa. (Note: Brazil’s military police are a living relic from the 1964-1984 period of the military dictatorship.) The suspects were accused of involvement with the illegal sale of firearms and slot machines, as well as drug trafficking. Counting on more successful operations, Gangoni remains hopeful, stressing that the four-plus years of investigation into Marielle’s assassination have not been in vain.

While militias—former or current police officers and firemen, including white-collar city officials involved in criminal activities—have increased in Brazil, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, over the past decade, the investigation has revealed one notable group called the Crime Bureau.

Claimed by investigators to be led by Adriano da Nóbrega, an ex-captain in Rio de Janeiro’s notorious Special Operations Police Battalion (BOPE), this militia held links, circumstantial or not, to Bolsonaro’s family.

Adriano da Nóbrega.
Adriano da Nóbrega [Source:]

Nóbrega’s mother, Raimunda Veras Magalhães, previously worked in the state congressional office of the president’s son, Flávio Bolsonaro. Nóbrega’s ex-wife, Danielle Mendonça, worked as an adviser to Flávio from September 2007 to November 2018. Also, in 2003 and 2005, while serving as a Rio de Janeiro state congressman, Flávio praised Nóbrega for his “dedication” and “brilliant” work as a special operations policeman.

Flávio: Bolsonaro não vai mudar política de preços da Petrobras - Politica  - Estado de Minas
Jair Bolsonaro and Flávio Bolsonaro. [Source:]

Nóbrega was unable to attend the official ceremony hosted at the state legislative assembly in 2005 to receive the Tiradentes Medal, the highest honor bestowed to a resident of the state of Rio de Janeiro, as he was imprisoned, accused of killing Leandro dos Santos Silva (24), a car guard who had reported militia activity the previous year. Convicted of murder by a tribunal court, Nóbrega appealed the decision, received a new trial, and was released from prison in 2006 before being absolved of the crime the following year.

After Nóbrega was named as a suspect in Marielle’s assassination, he had escaped the dragnet in Rio de Janeiro.

The car in which Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, were fatally gunned down. [Source:]

Hunt for Nóbrega

On February 9, 2020, just over a year after his arrest warrant was issued, Nóbrega’s whereabouts were discovered. A joint task force from the Secretary of Public Security of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro Civil Police surrounded a rural house in Esplanada, state of Bahia, 1,726 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro.

Approximately 70 officials armed with machine guns, rifles, pistols, bulletproof vests, tear gas and drones surrounded the property. Said to have exchanged gunfire with authorities, Nóbrega was killed in the living room. The residence belonged to city councilman Gilson Neto who insisted that he did not know Nóbrega and that his property had been invaded.

Nóbrega’s lawyer, Paulo Emílio Cata Pretta, said that his client feared being the victim of a “queima de arquivo” (“archive burning” or “burning of a file”), a colloquial expression used to indicate the elimination of a key witness in a criminal investigation. While the origin of the expression is unclear, on December 14, 1890, Brazil’s Minister of Finance, Ruy Barbosa, ordered all of the country’s official archives and documentation related to chattel slavery to be burned. In the official statement, Barbosa argued that the government was compelled to make “the last vestiges of slavery disappear,” thus obligating officials to “destroy” the archives to maintain the “honor of the country.”

Wiretaps obtained by Rio de Janeiro’s civil police recorded Nóbrega’s sister, Daniela Magalhães da Nóbrega, speaking to a relative two days after his death. She said her brother was “aware of the order given for him to be turned into a dead archive.” She also stated that “[employment] posts had already been commissioned in the [Palácio do] Planalto [Brazil’s official workplace of the president] for his life” and that the order to kill her brother was made by Rio de Janeiro’s former governor, Wilson Witzel, impeached on August 28, 2020, related to fraud in the purchase of Covid-19 supplies. “It was that scoundrel, Witzel, who said if they catch him (Nóbrega) to kill him,” said Daniela.

Nóbrega’s autopsy photos were viewed by University of Brasilia professor and former head of the Federal District’s Institute of Forensic Medicine, Malthus Fonseca Galvão. Asked if Nóbrega’s death may have resulted from a shootout, Fonseca Galvão responded, “it could have.” However, “Could it have been an execution?” the coroner questioned. “It’s possible. Which is more probable? With such a shot at close range, it’s more likely that it was an execution.”

Malthus Galvão - YouTube
Malthus Fonseca Galvão [Source:]

Hugo Marques and Cristiano Mariz, two journalists investigating Nóbrega’s death days after the event, were detained by police even after showing their media credentials. Several times they were asked how they discovered the address of a witness; their audio recorder, which contained interviews of other witnesses, was confiscated but later returned.

According to the MP-RJ, Nóbrega’s assets exceeded his salary. The former special forces captain maintained investments in the construction industry, thoroughbred horses and cattle, and held assets in Miami (USA).

In the case of Lessa, Rio de Janeiro’s military police declined to reveal how much he earned as an officer, citing, ironically, the General Personal Data Protection Law and the decree that regulates the Access to Information Law in the state of Rio de Janeiro as justification. These statutes, unless rescinded, guarantee that Lessa’s earnings as a policeman will remain confidential for 100 years.

Google at a Snail’s Pace

In early 2019, Google adhered to a call by the MP-RJ to release data related to Marielle’s assassination. The following year, however, the tech giant appealed a ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice {STJ}, which ordered the tech giant to hand over the data of thousands of Internet users. The appeal alleged that the decision created a privacy risk, one that violated fundamental rights protected by the constitution.

In August 2020, the STJ, acting on a request presented by the MP-RJ office, ruled that Google provide, among other details, information such as: all geotracking of Internet users who were in the surrounding areas of the locale where the assassin’s vehicle was last seen (December 2, 2019). The decision also ordered Google to release user data of everyone who searched for any of seven key terms: Marielle Franco; councilwoman Marielle; agenda Marielle; councilwoman Marielle’s agenda; Casa das Pretas; Rua dos Inválidos, 122; and Rua dos Inválidos. The data release was to comprise a period of five days preceding the assassination.

In a public statement, Google contended that the court ruling “reinforces its concern about the serious risk to the privacy of Brazilians resulting from a ruling based on a generic and non-individualized breach of confidentiality directed at users who are not suspects or even being investigated.” The company further argued that “Google reiterates its respect for Brazilian authorities and its commitment to collaborate with the investigations within the framework of the law. For this reason, [the company] could not fail to submit to the Federal Supreme Court for its assessment of what it deems to be a violation of fundamental privacy rights and protection of personal data, as well as due process of law.”

Countering Google’s defense team, particularly that the court ruling was “disproportionate” in terms of the number of users the decision covered, the MP-RJ claimed “proportionality,” considering the fact that investigators had yet to uncover details leading to an individual or group who masterminded and ordered Marielle’s assassination.

According to Rogerio Schietti Cruz, judicial magistrate in the hearing on the breach of confidentiality of stored data by Google, the “assassination…was committed not only as a result of the activities undertaken by…Marielle Franco in defense of human rights.” Everything indicates that it was motivated by the fact that she lived in a “patriarchal, misogynist, racist, and bigoted” society, one that “enhanced the reaction of those who felt rattled” by her presence.

Congressman Chico Alencar reminded that Marielle’s advocacy in the city council “bothered big and small mafia groups.”

On August 26, 2020, Google, the largest Internet search engine in the world, after refusing to release data associated with the murder case, was finally ordered by the STJ to hand over its stored list of Internet users who conducted word combination searches related to Marielle during the week prior to her assassination. Lamenting the court ruling, Google then appealed to Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF) to halt the sharing of details. “We have requested access [to the personal data],” said Simone Sibilo, special task force coordinator at the MP-RJ. “Today, our requests are the subject of injunctions under analysis by the Supreme Court of Justice.”

The investigator noted that her team, although they “cannot confirm” that by obtaining stored data they can reach those who ordered the murder, they “hope it helps.…We hope that the long period of time that they [Facebook and Google] refused to provide us with the data has not harmed the inquiry and that an agreement can produce important details that further the investigation.”

Short of an Assassination, Big Tech Sells User Data for Billions and at Mind-Boggling Speeds

While Marielle Franco’s assassination remains unsolved and Google and Facebook play footsie, duking it out with prosecutors to withhold user data that could potentially provide valuable clues, big tech routinely, albeit indirectly, shares and distributes web users private information to line their pockets. In 2019, two years after Marielle was fatally gunned down by a hail of bullets, Facebook and Google raked in approximately $230 billion in revenue, the bulk derived from ad revenue. Online ads have since ballooned into a $350 billion industry.

Of the myriad ways tech oligarchs harvest and monetize data, such as who we are, our location, likes and dislikes, amongst other personal data—all of which prosecutors would find useful in their investigation of Marielle’s assassination—two stand out. The first and easiest method is placing a click-thru ad on websites. Fitted with invisible trackers, those infamous cookies supply IP addresses, device IDs and other sensitive user details. The external website, thus, serves as a database for targeted advertising.

You can say, ‘Hey, Google, I want a list of people ages 18-35 who watched the Super Bowl last year.’ They won’t give you that list, but they will let you serve ads to all those people,” said Bennett Cyphers, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Some of those people will click on those ads, and you can pretty easily figure out who those people are. You can buy data, in a sense, that way.”

The mantra among advertisers is repetitive, tiring—ads are sold, not personal data. However, click-thru ads represent a breach of your personal data as online marketers have issued payment to place ads while you browse the Internet.

A second, more complex yet common method of breeching and monetizing your personal data is called Real-Time Bidding (RTB). Here, a bidding frenzy ensues among a series of advertisers whenever you visit a website. The process, which includes the transfer of your IP address or device ID, interests, demographics, location, and other data, takes a matter of milliseconds.

Based on these parameters, ad-tech giants, medium and small-sized, bid frantically to display their products and services while you browse the Internet. Unrestricted to winners, RTB is a routine, indirect breach of private policy disclaimers for even losing bidders to gain access to your personal info.

In effect, your private data is passed on to third parties, advertisers, both monetized and free of charge. Whether Rio de Janeiro prosecutors are privy to these details is anybody’s guess. One thing is certain: They have not posed as advertisers and made retroactive bids for web browsing data linked to Marielle’s assassination. Unremunerated requests related to murder investigations do not line the pockets of big tech oligarchs.

Regular Invasion of Privacy

“[Big tech] saying that they don’t sell data to third parties is like a yogurt company saying they’re gluten-free. Yogurt is naturally gluten-free,” said Ari Ezra Waldman, a law and computer science professor at Northeastern University. “It’s a misdirection from all the other ways that may be more subtle but still are deep and profound invasions of privacy.”

In 2020, Google operated code on roughly 85% of sites on the web and within as many as 94% of apps in the Play store. While 92% of Internet searches were conducted through the tech corporation, it also controlled approximately 62% of mobile browsers and 69% of desktop browsers. Worldwide, Google controlled 71% of all mobile devices.

As of this writing (June 26, 2022), 64% of all Internet searches are conducted through Google, according to StatCounter, a global web traffic analysis website.

Pushback against the multi-billion dollar data economy has picked up steam over the past few years. Private policy advocates have introduced legislation to broaden the scope of what it means to “sell” your private data beyond a blunt monetary transaction. Apart from financial incentives, accessing and retaining your personal data and web-browsing tendencies can be used to develop Internet algorithms and computerized artificial intelligence models.

These mechanized patterns can then be employed to target users for advertising and other propositions the owners of capital and big tech aspire. The multi-billion dollar ad-revenue industry explains, to one degree or another, why Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, and other messaging and social media services are free of charge. Facebook’s own 2019 annual report stated that the company generated $41.41 in quarterly revenue from each of its users in the United States and Canada alone.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. [Source:]

More than 20 years have passed since online advertising fueled big tech’s meteoric rise and the downfall of print media and your personal data. For the Western world’s ruling elites, private data has always been a crown jewel of maintaining the order of the day. Far from being an anomaly, scandals such as Cambridge Analytica, where millions of Facebook users’ personal data was harnessed by the British consulting firm without consent and targeted for political ad campaigns, was a natural progression and expansion of the surveillance state. U.S. ally Israel has also joined the club of developing robust spyware programs such as Pegasus, which was secretly purchased by the FBI.

In 2018, European lawmakers passed the General Data Protection Regulations, a series of laws aimed at safeguarding people’s personal information. The following year, Google, the same company that publicly expressed its “concern about the serious risk to the privacy of Brazilians” in an investigation to uncover the masterminds who ordered Marielle dead, and its subsidiary, YouTube, conceded to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), agreeing to pay fines totalling $170 million to quash allegations of violating children’s privacy laws. Meanwhile, Facebook, the same corporation, also claiming to defend its users’ privacy in Marielle’s assassination case, was ordered by the FTC to fork out a historic $5 billion to settle claims of violating consumers’ privacy.

Spy Tentacles All over Brazil

In 2013, NSA analyst Edward Snowden revealed documents showing how the agency spied on people worldwide. Those revelations included espionage by the United States and Canada, not necessarily into individuals such as Ronnie Lessa and Adriano da Nóbrega, and the burgeoning militias involved in criminal activities in Rio de Janeiro, but Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, and the country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy during the U.S. presidency of Barack Obama. WikiLeaks documents also revealed that the NSA spied on former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her top advisers.

Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached in 2016. [Source:]

In 2018, Petrobras agreed to pay US$ 853.2 million to conclude investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Brazilian prosecutors into corruption charges brought by the infamous evolution of the “Car Wash” scandals.

The total payment was completed by late 2021. Joint investigations (Brazil and United States) into these investigations also coincided with charges brought against former Brazilian President Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva, resulting in his conviction and 2019 sentence to 12 years and 11 months in prison.

Many viewed the former president’s imprisonment as a classic case of lawfare—a strategy employed to attack, undermine, weaken and unseat political opponents through manipulative legal and judicial maneuvers—thus paving the way for the rise of his political rival, Jair Bolsonaro, during the 2018 presidential campaign. After spending 1.5 years in federal prison, all 25 charges and inquiries against Lula were completely dismissed by March of this year. Four of his former accusers, including the lead prosecutor, Deltan Dallagnol, are now being counter-sued for damages by Lula’s defense team.

One Case, Two Cases, Many Cases in Limbo

“In a serious country we wouldn’t have an investigation dragging on for four years,” said Marinete da Silva, mother of Marielle Franco. “Despite not having robust proof concerning the intellectual author (of the crime)…lines of investigation exist, therefore, I can’t afford not to believe in the work of the police, the public prosecutor’s office, and the teams that have accompanied the case ever since the crime occurred.”

Marinete also noted that “it’s obvious that we’re living in a complex situation involving people who have no interest, whatsoever, in helping, from the federal, to the state, down to the municipality.”

Asked about Brazil’s current president and other top officials’ concern for solving the case, Marinete offered little and more than enough: “I won’t comment on those whom I don’t have access to. They’ve contributed nothing. I’m in no position to speak about such people…Bolsonaro and his complete public mismanagement [and] lack of commitment with everything in this country…I hope this case is resolved with dignity, that Marielle, Anderson, and all other inquiries are concluded.”

Inquiries into police violence in Rio de Janeiro are in no short supply. To lessen the load, angling toward a baseline of impunity rather than pursuing and imprisoning police who kill men, women, even children, a number of such cases are “archived,” citing “lack of evidence,” “no witnesses” available for questioning, or deflecting the issue altogether, stating that gunfire, time and again, emerged from “drug traffickers.” Such was the inquiry into Marcus Vinicius da Silva (14), killed in June 2018 while wearing his school uniform during a military incursion into his and Marielle’s community, Complexo da Maré. On March 30, 2017, Maria Eduarda, a 13-year-old student, also donned in her school uniform while participating in physical education class inside Daniel Piza Municipal School (Acari favela), was fatally shot three times by Rio de Janeiro police.

This sick state is to blame for the murder of children dressed in school uniforms,” said Bruna da Silva, Vinicius da Silva’s mother, a maid, and one-time landfill scavenger collecting recyclable debris to feed her family, a far cry from the coffers of Facebook and Google.

Contradictions Abound

On March 31, the same MP-RJ tasked with solving the assassination of Marielle Franco requested Brazil’s justice department to “archive” 10 more inquiries (four have already been “archived”) in the investigation of the shooting deaths of 27 civilians and one policeman when police invaded Jacarezinho favela on May 6 last year. Of the largest recorded massacre in Rio de Janeiro’s history, no small feat, prosecutors argue that they cannot proceed with investigations faced with lack of evidence, unaccountable witnesses, diverging testimony, and reports that do not suggest “executions” nor removal of bodies prior to investigators reaching the scene.

Author and political commentator Laurez Cerqueira once wrote:

“[Brazil is] incapable of freeing itself from its past shadow, from organized backwardness, from the prey mentality of colonial business practices and, instead, concocted a democratic, independent and sovereign Republic. It appears condemned to either banishment, or penumbra.”

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On May 6, 2021, police remove a body after invading Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro and killing 27 people, the largest massacre in the city’s history. [Source:]

Marielle, herself, recalled that during a 14-month stretch (2014-2015) in the lead-up to the Rio Olympics, the favela where she lived was laid siege by the military:

“I know what it feels like, in practice, what it’s like to go to sleep and wake up with the rumble of tanks, being frisked and numerous violations of rights, making us, those who live in favelas, very apprehensive. Not only is this for the perspective of holding a political and theoretical debate. In the [Complexo da] Maré, my home, where I live my life, there were 14 months of siege by [Brazil’s] National Armed Forces during the Olympics. Unpreparedness, violations and violence were routine.”

The drive-by execution that claimed Marielle’s life occurred less than a month into a full-blown military intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Ordered during the final months of Michel Temer’s interim presidency, the operation began with 3,000 soldiers patrolling the streets in late June 2018.

Having been trained in urban warfare and equipped with modern military hardware, untold numbers of machine-gun-toting troops stationed in the “marvelous city”—Rio de Janeiro—had previously served in Haiti as part of the 13-year long (2004-2017) United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

One year after the mission’s completion, Wellington Moreira Franco, the secretary-general of the presidency, noted that the “spirit” of military mobilization, “this conversation, this methodology can spread throughout Brazil.” However, Institutional Security Minister Sérgio Etchegoyen emphasized that soldiers on the streets of Rio de Janeiro represent an “outward manifestation of a structural crisis.”

Haitian demonstrators protest the presence of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) forces in their country. / Image: Ansel Herz / Mediahacker – The Rag Blog. [Source:]

As of the 4th of April, with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Cauã dos Santos, Rio de Janeiro’s military police have killed five adolescents and shot 16 this year alone. It’s the “outward manifestation of a structural crisis,” evident in the Brazil of today and its evolution as a South and Latin American country.

Of the 522 years of Brazil’s existence, if the years of colonization, chattel slavery, and dictatorships were compiled on an upper mathematical line and subtracted from the remaining years, including the interim presidency of Michel Temer and current head of state Jair Bolsonaro, the remainder would amount to just 74 or 75 years of a free state—at least theoretically free.

Could such a short time span, considering Brazil’s repressive and violent history, engender a country capable of discerning between justice and impunity? Residents of the favelas and “quebradas” (ghettoes) often state that such a distinction is non-existent. In the assassination of Marielle Franco, four-plus years have passed, thus, confirming their assessment.

Marielle Franco [Source:]

Marielle Franco Case vs. Big Tech

While our online personal data flows ostensibly in one direction—into a web of mass-marketing campaigns and Western intelligence apparatuses—the inquiry into the assassination of Marielle Franco has dragged on for four-plus long years with no end in sight.

Contrasts and contradictions are as plain as day. Reluctance by big tech oligarchs to fully cooperate with Brazilian authorities investigating the case are as profound as the incapacity or unwillingness of Rio de Janeiro’s prosecutors to make better progress in solving it. As some young and old people would tell me, “Tá tudo errado” (“It’s all wrong”). Whatever has gone wrong over the past four years—or five centuries—in Brazil’s storied history, it has fueled many unanswered questions. One of them is: “Quem matou Marielle?” (“Who killed Marielle?”)

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