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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 Police Target Legacy of Infamous Drug Trafficker, Fernandinho Beira-Mar

NEWS / 17 JAN 2022

The death of a top Red Command leader near Rio de Janeiro raises questions about the success of coordinated attempts to weaken one of Brazil’s toughest gangs, both materially and…

How Brazil's Port of Santos Became Cocaine's World Trade Center

NEWS / 13 JAN 2022

Three shipments of cocaine were caught on the same day as they were about to head to France, Spain and Ghana. All originated from the Brazilian port of Santos, from…

Sun, Samba and Smuggled Soybeans in Brazil

NEWS / 11 JAN 2022

As Brazil works to maintain its dominance of the soybean market, it is facing an ascending challenge: a flood of cheap grains smuggled illegally from Argentina.

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 / 6 JAN 2022

The dismantling of a gang trafficking marijuana and cocaine from Colombia to Brazil has revealed greater connections between organized crime in both countries.

BRAZIL / 5 JAN 2022

A recent cyberattack that hit government websites in Brazil, including platforms that track vaccinations and epidemiological data on COVID-19, has stoked concerns about a surge in ransomware attacks on critical…

BRAZIL / 31 DEC 2021

Prediction of the criminal dynamics for 2022 is even harder than most years, as it involves predicting the march of coronavirus. Organized crime does not exist in a bubble.

BRAZIL / 28 DEC 2021

There was record destruction of the Amazon in 2020, as the rainforest lost an area around the size of Belize, and the situation looks to be even bleaker in 2021.

ARGENTINA / 23 DEC 2021

A spree of illegal fishing occurred across Latin America this past year, much of it driven by competition for diminishing catch.

BRAZIL / 15 DEC 2021

A recent study of credit card cloning around the world revealed some startling disparities in the risks customers face across Latin America and the price of buying this stolen information.

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