Two years ago Marielle Franco was murdered, since then Brazil has changed dramatically and some ministers even affirm to hope to bomb the favelas. It’s a real declaration of war against the urban poor. We remember Marielle with this post, written a few hours after her assassination, but still so terribly current. Today more than ever we need people like Her to show us the right part of History.

Who is on the right side of history has a glare in his eyes, even when the gaze is tired or exasperated, that light shines bright.

Marielle Franco was one of them. She crossed my life with the tragic news of her assassination, a smiling photo with a determined look and that wonderful glow in her eyes.

A few days ago we wrote about the role of women in slums talking about silent revolution, but there are also those who make the revolution screaming, rebelling not so much in the name of an ideology, a political vision, a religious belief, but simply in name of Justice.

In the alleys of slums around the world how many men and women like Marielle carry on their struggles for Justice?


All with that strange light in their eyes, all with the fear of not returning home, or not finding a home anymore. These are the people on the Right side of the story.

I have had the privilege of meeting some of them, and they leave you with a disarming feeling of integrity, lightness, courage.

There are many on the Right side and, even if it were true that a falling tree makes more noise than a forest that grows, nobody takes my mind off that today the inhabitants of the favelas of Rio are alone.

Very lonely.

And it would be nice to say that we are by their side, that we are all with them.

It would be nice but terribly false: we are by their side writing a blog page like this or a nice post on social media.

Not so much.

In short, I would have liked to title this post “To Marielle Franco, one of us” but it would have been wrong, because we would not have the right to do it.

Because Marielle is not “one of us”, her fight belongs to everyone, but above all to her favelados.

Federico Monica

Architect and Urban Planner, PhD in Urban and regional planning. Founder of Taxibrousse studio, I’m specialized in informal settlements assessment, slum upgrading strategies, low-cost and low-tech building processes.

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TaxiBrousse is a design and consultancy studio for international development, we works in the fields of engineering, architecture, urban planning and environmental protection.

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