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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

Why Mega-Prisons Holding Tens of Thousands Won't Make a Difference

NEWS / 25 NOV 2022

Failing prison systems and entrenched corruption mean mega-prisons holding tens of thousands won't solve insecurity in Latin America.

Digital Wild West: Latin America Unprepared for Crypto-Crime

NEWS / 23 NOV 2022

A lack of regulation surrounding how crypto-currencies are used by organized crime has left Latin America dangerously exposed.

Beneath The Surface of Illegal Gold Mining in the Amazon

INVESTIGATIONS / 8 NOV 2022

As gold prices have skyrocketed, a boom in mining across the Amazon Basin has flourished, leaving a deep environmental footprint.

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.

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 criminal gang, the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC).

Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias ‘Marcola’

BRAZIL / JULY 18, 2022

Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias "Marcola," has been the top leader of the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital - PCC) since 2002.

Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, alias 'Nem'

AMIGOS DOS AMIGOS / JULY 18, 2022

Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, alias “Nem,” led the Amigos dos Amigos gang in Rocinha, one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

News

ARGENTINA / 25 OCT 2022

Bolivia's cocaine trade is on the up. Originally a coca leaf cultivator, Bolivia has moved to cocaine production.

BRAZIL / 7 OCT 2022

Latin America's environmental and land protectors are routinely murdered by the regions criminals.

BRAZIL / 29 SEP 2022

Brazil is facing a presidential election that could genuinely reshape its criminal landscape. How do Bolsonaro and Lula compare?…

ARGENTINA / 12 SEP 2022

Synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, fentanyl, and ecstasy are reshaping Latin America's drug trade.

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 9 SEP 2022

Brazil's border town of Corumbá is a well-known smuggling route from Bolivia. This is unlikely to change soon.

BRAZIL / 8 SEP 2022

Brazil's largest gang, the PCC, could be trying to take over the marijuana business in neighboring Paraguay.

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