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Brazil

Brazil faces a serious threat from its two largest domestic criminal gangs: the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando Capital – PCC) and Red Command (Comando Vermelho), which are becoming increasingly involved in the international drug trade, as well as operating extortion and kidnapping rings at home.

Latest News

Brazil’s Emerald Exports – The Latest Revelations About Dario Messer

NEWS / 14 APR 2021

Messer, the notoriously prolific money launderer, was able to move millions of dollars through Brazil’s emerald mining industry, adding yet another scheme to his laundry list of illicit financial dealings.

Police in Brazil Net Mass Seizure of Ornamental Fish

NEWS / 29 MAR 2021

Authorities in Brazil have seized thousands of live freshwater fish native to the country’s Amazon region that are commonly seen in the aquarium trade.

In Brazil, Court’s Decision Illustrates Corruption Probe Overreach

NEWS / 19 MAR 2021

After Brazil's Supreme Court canceled the conviction of its former president, the country must now contend with the fallout.

Brazil Profile

Criminal Actors

Armed Groups

As South America’s largest nation, Brazil has produced two of the region’s most powerful criminal groups: The First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC) and Red Command (Comando Vermelho). Both began as prison gangs but have since transformed themselves into transnational crime organizations involved in cocaine smuggling to Europe, controlling the movement of drugs out of country’s ports. The gangs also continue to be a national threat, with members organized around city strongholds, where they regulate everything from local drug sales and cigarette smuggling to violent bank robberies.

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Personalities

Marcelo Fernando Pinheiro Veiga, alias “Piloto”

BRAZIL PERSONALITIES / APRIL 13, 2020

Marcelo “Piloto” Pinheiro was considered one of the Brazilian government’s most sought-after drug traffickers until 2017. He is believed to have once been the second-in-command of the Red Command (Comando…

Gilberto Aparecido Dos Santos, alias ‘Fuminho’

BRAZIL PERSONALITIES / APRIL 13, 2020

Gilberto Aparecido Dos Santos, alias “Fuminho,” is one of the leaders of Brazil’s largest and most powerful criminal organization, the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC).

Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias ‘Marcola’

BRAZIL / MARCH 25, 2020

Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, known by the aliases “Marcola” and “Playboy,” has been the top leader of Brazil’s biggest and most powerful criminal organization, the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando…

Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, alias ‘Nem’

AMIGOS DOS AMIGOS / 2018-04-04

Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, alias “Nem,” led the Amigos dos Amigos gang in Rocinha, a neighborhood of some 150,000 residents in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro that is…

News

BRAZIL / 12 MAR 2021

The Brazilian agency that inspects mining sites and seizes illegally mined ore is vastly understaffed, a consequence of a government that has given free rein to the mining sector.

BRAZIL / 11 MAR 2021

As Latin American countries struggle to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination, crimes related to the illegal purchase of vaccines, including the sale of pilfered or fake doses, have surged, along with…

BRAZIL / 8 MAR 2021

Criminal dynamics in Brazil, particularly its drug trafficking routes, have been shaken up in recent years by the rapid expansion of the PCC.

BRAZIL / 5 MAR 2021

A new investigation has revealed how large swathes of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are being illegally sold on Facebook, with some listings advertising plots as large as 1,000 football fields. The…

BRAZIL / 4 MAR 2021

There were few better at money laundering than the Brazilian Dario Messer, who, while scrambling to save himself from Brazilian authorities, did one last tour of his prime refuge, Paraguay,…

BRAZIL / SEPTEMBER 8, 2020

Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, has seen some important security advances in recent years, taking dozens of communities in Rio de Janeiro from criminal gangs through its innovative UPP security…

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