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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

How Many Creepy-Crawlies Can a Trafficker Hide in His Luggage?

NEWS / 30 JUL 2021

There is one crucial quality for any successful wildlife trafficker: tenacity. And Kirill Kravchenko had it in spades.

Brazilian Authorities Clamp Down on Cattle Theft

NEWS / 29 JUL 2021

A number of arrests made to tackle a sophisticated cattle rustling operation in Brazil have suggested authorities are stepping up efforts to target the crime.

Drug Gangs, Thieves Team Up for Violent Cargo Robberies in Rio

NEWS / 28 JUL 2021

A cargo-theft ring in Rio de Janeiro partnered with a drug gang to steal millions of dollars’ worth of goods, showing how criminal actors in Brazil come together to commit…

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 / 27 JUL 2021

Bala na Cara (BNC) is a prominent criminal group in Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

BRAZIL / 20 JUL 2021

Government officials in Brazil say smugglers are moving Haitian migrants across the country's border with Peru, as many of them take a first step in the perilous journey north toward…

BRAZIL / 14 JUL 2021

Killings connected to a number of military police units in São Paulo fell to zero in June 2021 due to a simple innovation: body cameras.

BRAZIL / 10 JUL 2021

Brazil has seen its fair share of new synthetic drugs, but the latest hit, known as “love honey,” may be the strangest in a while. And despite being a cultural…

BRAZIL / 7 JUL 2021

Newly leaked audio recordings have sparked a political firestorm in Brazil - linking President Jair Bolsonaro to an extortion scheme where political staffers had to give up part of their…

BRAZIL / 24 JUN 2021

In stopping a European sailboat, Brazilian authorities have made a record seizure of marijuana resin, also known as hashish, revealing both a new trans-Atlantic drug route and the ongoing diversification…

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