A conversation between Marielle and God

By Antônio Francisco da Silva Neto

Nine months have passed since 14 March and, during this time, Marinete and I have been waiting for answers about the barbaric and cowardly killing of Marielle Franco, our daughter. Nine months was also how long we waited, with great excitement and anticipation, for Marielle's birth in 1979.

I imagine what a conversation between Marielle – still in her mother's belly, before being born – and God might have been like.

Lord, I'm here in this small space, comfortable and protected by this woman who will be my mother, who gives me affection and caresses. She talks to me and takes me to church and to university, because we're studying Law. Soon we’ll graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Law. What a wonderful, strong, vibrant woman! When I'm born and grow up, I want to be like her.

This space inside her is small; I can’t stretch my legs, I can’t run, I can’t jump. Lord, give me strong legs and nimble feet, as I'm going to need them. I want to jump over the obstacles that appear in my path; I know there will be many of them. Please also give me strong arms with which to embrace, protect and help my brothers and sisters, as I can see they need help.

It was a natural birth and she came into the world easily, at Praça XV Maternity Hospital. She was a true Leo and, from a very young age, brought us a great deal of happiness and pride, which we still have today

Lord, give me a beautiful and generous smile, like that of my brothers and sisters who, despite the pain and suffering they go through, keep smiling too. Give me a voice that I can use to speak out for them.

God answered Marielle.

You will have almost 39 years on Earth; live them intensely, supporting your brothers and sisters. You will be born at 21:30 on 27 July 1979, weighing 8 lb 2 oz and measuring 51 cm.

It was a natural birth and she came into the world easily, at Praça XV Maternity Hospital. She was a true Leo and, from a very young age, brought us a great deal of happiness and pride, which we still have today. She lived her time among us intensely and has now gone to meet God.

In 1979, after nine months, our dream became reality and we had Marielle in our arms. In 2018, nine months have passed and the silence is tormenting us. We will keep going, untiringly, until we find out who took the life of our daughter Marielle Franco.

Antônio Francisco da Silva Neto is Marielle Franco's father