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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

Aircraft Theft Across Latin America Continues to Fuel Drug Trade

NEWS / 22 SEP 2021

A heist of Brazilian planes that were later discovered in Bolivia has offered a unique look into how drug planes are procured in the region.

South Africa Raises Profile as Cocaine Trafficking Hub

NEWS / 14 SEP 2021

South Africa has made a rapid succession of large cocaine seizures in recent months, illuminating how the country and region now play a significant role as transit points for Latin…

Express Kidnappings in Brazil's São Paulo Accelerate with Instant Pay App

NEWS / 1 SEP 2021

The increasing use of an instant money transfer app is driving express kidnappings in the Brazilian city of São Paulo – a crime that now requires no more than a…

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 / APRIL 4, 2018

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 / 31 AUG 2021

The pictures shocked Brazil and the world. Bank robbers fleeing the scene at high speed in their getaway vehicle, with hostages strapped to the roof and hood. The videos are…

BRAZIL / 30 AUG 2021

Police in Brazil have broken up a smuggling ring that had a curious modus operandi. For years, its divers strapped cocaine to the hulls of cargo ships departing for Europe,…

BRAZIL / 24 AUG 2021

Localized gang warfare in Brazil's state of Rio Grande do Sul has sparked a security crisis along its border with Uruguay.

BRAZIL / 17 AUG 2021

João Soares Rocha, 64, has been identified by the Brazilian police as the ringleader of an international cocaine trafficking network.

BRAZIL / 16 AUG 2021

The capture of a top Anti-Bala coalition member in Paraguay threatens to weaken a longstanding criminal in Brazil's southern border state of Rio Grande Do Sul.

BRAZIL / 11 AUG 2021

A number of recent raids have highlighted how illegal pesticide smuggling in Brazil is fueled by Chinese contraband.

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