The assassination of Marielle Franco on the night of March 14, 2018 made her an international symbol of the violence she had spent her life trying to end. Franco grew up in the favelas, Rio de Janeiro's shantytowns, and was a teacher and aide before being elected to the city's municipal council in 2016. As a queer black feminist, she was a rarity in Brazilian politics.
Her career battling gender violence, police brutality, and the racism and grinding poverty that disenfranchises Brazil's non-white majority made her a hero to marginalized groups and a target of the resurgent right-wing. In national elections months after her murder, the right-wing returned to power, winning the Presidency; at the same time, a number of female black, and queer candidates also stepped forward to claim the space Franco had opened.