Brazil minister: Militia probably behind councilwoman murder

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s public security minister says that investigators suspect that police-linked militias were responsible for killing a Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman who was a prominent social activist.

Marielle Franco and her driver were killed March 14. She had often criticized police brutality and was sharply critical of the decision to put the military in charge of Rio’s security forces.

Public Security Minister Raul Jungmann told CBN radio on Monday that “the most probable hypothesis ... is that this crime is very probably the work of Rio de Janeiro’s militias.”

He was referring to armed groups of current and former police officers who vie with criminal gangs for control of Rio’s poor communities and who have been accused of summary executions.