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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

Rage, Rinse, Repeat – The Futile Cycle of Anger at Rio’s Police

NEWS / 7 MAY 2021

The stranger burst into the house, staggering and leaving a trail of blood behind him. He ran into the back, into the bedroom of the nine-year-old girl. Police were not…

5 Animals Used to Smuggle Drugs in Latin America

NEWS / 7 MAY 2021

The cat-and-mouse game of evading law enforcement was taken literally by drug smugglers recently in Panama, who hid cocaine on a feline and sent it into a prison.

Why South America’s Armies Are Losing the War for the Amazon

NEWS / 4 MAY 2021

Brazil, Colombia and Peru have deployed their armies to fight deforestation and other crimes in the Amazon rainforest.

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 / 4 MAY 2021

Around two hundred women were trafficked from Brazil to foreign countries by a gang based in São Paulo, which was uncovered due to a cloned credit card being used to…

BRAZIL / 29 APR 2021

US and Brazilian authorities have identified an international network dedicated to the smuggling of prized species of killifish, illuminating Brazil’s role in the global trade.

BRAZIL / 27 APR 2021

Fahd Jamil Georges, a veteran drug trafficker along the Paraguay-Brazil border, said he surrendered to authorities after being threatened by the PCC -- a reminder of how completely the Brazilian…

BRAZIL / 21 APR 2021

Business jets are on the radar of European authorities after the dismantling of a ring that used private aircraft to smuggle cocaine from Brazil to Portugal.

BRAZIL / 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.

BRAZIL / 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.

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