On March 14, 2018, Marielle Franco, 38, a councilwoman for the city of Rio de Janeiro, was on her way home from mediating a debate when her auto was cut off by a silver Chevrolet Cobalt, which had been following her for around 4 kilometers. While police had questioned many people, before Tuesday nobody had been arrested or charged in the shooting of Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes. Mr. Queiroz, accused of driving the silver Chevrolet Cobalt used in the ambush of Ms. Franco, was expelled from the corporation in 2016 when he was found guilty of providing illegal security services to an illegal gambling house in Rio de Janeiro.
"Two police officers were arrested with a direct and effective participation in the crime", said Marcus Vinicius Braga, Rio de Janeiro state police secretary.
A close ally of Bolsonaro, Witzel ran on promises to get tough on crime in a state traditionally riddled with it, including by using sharpshooters to take out armed drug dealers in favelas.
Despite the claims of a breakthrough, some were skeptical.
"It's a reaction of repulsion to her political actions", said Simone Sibilo, one of the prosecutors.
"Who sent them (to kill Franco)?"More news: Air pollution deaths are double earlier estimates, study shows
"I don't like how politicized the case has become. we need to be very cautious", the prosecutor added.
De Queiroz and Lessa, both former military policemen, were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of the murder of Franco, a black gay rights activist and councilwoman who spoke out against police brutality and on behalf of the poor.
In 2008, she worked alongside state lawmaker Marcelo Freixo on a sweeping parliamentary investigation into the actions of militia groups in Rio de Janeiro-the same people suspected to be behind her assassination. Lessa was arrested at his residence in the same upscale condominium complex where President Jair Bolsonaro has his home, authorities said.
They showed CCTV footage to reporters that tracked the vehicle in which prosecutors said Lessa and De Queiroz drove from the wealthy suburbs of western Rio across the city to downtown, where the suspects waited for two hours outside a meeting that Franco was attending about empowering black women. He did not say which son dated the woman, nor when.
Local news outlets reported the photo was taken from Queiroz's Facebook profile.
"Treat it as another misstep made by the police and courts", he said.More news: Maurizio Sarri fears Chelsea injuries due to poor Dynamo Kiev pitch
Investigators said Lessa fired the shots that killed Franco and Gomes on March 14, 2018, while Queiroz drove the auto that ambushed them.
Investigators opted to zero in on Mr. Lessa after lifting his digital records and noting that he monitored Marielle Franco's day-to-day schedule, leading the police to believe that he had been tracking her movements.
Franco, a human rights and women's rights activist, was a rising star in the Socialism and Liberty Party.
Thousands took to the streets in protest across Brazil after the killings, which drew global condemnation from rights groups.
"It is incontestable that Marielle Franco was summarily executed for her political activity in the defence of the causes she defended", prosecutors said in a statement cited by the Guardian.
"The reality is changing", Witzel said of the police and reforms under way.More news: Disney's 'Aladdin': Mena Massoud & Naomi Scott Featured In New Poster