Franco’s murder prompted mass protests in the country [File: Fabio Vieira/FotoRua/NurPhoto/Getty Images]

Sao Paulo, Brazil – Two former police officers were arrested early on Tuesday morning in Rio de Janeiro over last year’s murder of black activist and councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes.

Ronnie Lessa and Elcio Vieira de Queiroz are accused of participating in the murders of Franco and Gomes, according to a police statement sent to Al Jazeera. Their arrest comes two days before the anniversary of the deadly drive-by shooting.

According to prosecutors, Queiroz drove the car that ambushed Franco, while Lessa fired the shots that hit the activist in her neck and head. 

Lessa and Queiroz are also accused of attempted murder of Franco’s press secretary, who was also

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