Note from BW of Brazil: It’s already been a week and a day since Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco was murdered in the streets of Rio. And being a councilwoman and an activist, Franco knew a lot of people, including Talíria Petrone, a woman who was also elected to the city council of the city of Niterói in the 2016 elections. She was one of the five black women winning seats featured in a post from November of that year along with Franco, Ana Nice of São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Verônica Lima, also of Niterói and Áurea Carolina of Belo Horizonte. The city of Niterói is also located in the state of Rio de Janeiro and is connected by the Niterói-Rio bridge, the sixth largest in the world.
Petrone and Franco have a number of things in common, but one difference that has come since the Franco’s murder is that Marielle apparently received any death threats before she brutally murdered a little over a week ago. On the other hand, Petrone has received a number of threats since she took office back in 2016, one of which had to have been quite alarming. As I’ve said before, sometimes Brazil comes across as a place where there is little law and order, particularly in the dirty world of politics. With Marielle having been taken out by forces that clearly didn’t take to her calling out police tactics in the slums of Rio, I DO think about Petrone’s safety in such an environment.
Councilwoman from Niterói, Marielle’s friend denounces threats
Courtesy of Jornal do Brasil
The parliamentarian voted in with the most votes in Niterói, of the greater Rio de Janeiro region, she is the only woman on the city council. Talíria Petrone was a friend of the councilwoman Marielle Franco (PSOL). Unlike her colleague killed last Wednesday, Talíria has received several death threats over the phone and in social networks.
A complaint was made by the parliamentarian in November at the 76th Police Station (Icaraí). The case, however, did not unfold. The PSOL (party) evaluates to offer security to the councilwoman. She can run as deputy on the party slate to the state government headed by Tarcísio Motta. Talíria would occupy a planned vacancy for Marielle. The investigation about the threats can help investigate Marielle’s case, believe party advisers.
PSOL headquarters in Niterói was invaded by an armed man, who threatened the councilwoman
“Since the beginning of the mandate, in a majority conservative Chamber, with many representatives of the extreme right, I suffer threats,” she said. “I face many reactions: they are systematic attacks on social networks, in which I am called ‘vagabond’, in which they say that if they meet me in the street they will ‘put a bullet in my face’, for me to ‘go back to the senzala (slave quarters).” (see note one)
Then the hostility became more visible. PSOL’s headquarters in Niterói was invaded by an armed man who threatened the city councilwoman. According to advisors, paint cans are kept at headquarters just to erase recurring graffiti against her. In public events, swearing and threats like “really killing you” are common.
“But it came to a head on November 14, when systematic calls were made to Psol’s headquarters, calling me a ‘piranha’ (bitch)’ a ‘vagabond’, saying they were going to blow up the party headquarters, kill me with a bomb,” says Talíria.
A History professor with a Master´s degree in Social Service, Talíria began her militancy at the time she taught at the pré-vestibular (college entrance exam prep course) in the Complexo da Maré in north zone Rio de Janeiro. There she met Marielle. The two had very similar agendas.
In her first candidacy, she became the most voted councilor of Niterói. Talíria, like her friend, chairs the Commission on Human Rights in the House. In it, she has made numerous reports of police violence. “These flags that we raise very much mess with the structures of the society, are considered an affront to many people.”
Source: Jornal do Brasil
- It should be noted how often black Brazilians are told to “go back to the senzala (slave quarters)”. References to the slave quarters are a very common way of telling Brazilians of visible African descent to “stay in their place”, which makes people like Petrone and Franco particular targets in a society that is still accustomed to only seeing black women cooking, cleaning or shaking their bundas during Carnaval.