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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

Murder, Drugs, God and Crypto - The Downfall of Brazil's Pharaoh of Bitcoins

NEWS / 22 NOV 2021

For the last few weeks, the twists and turns in the case of the Pharaoh of Bitcoins have constantly made headlines.

LatAm Synthetic Drug Trade Booming: UNODC Report

NEWS / 2 NOV 2021

Organized crime groups in Latin America continue to expand into illicit synthetic drug production, including mass manufacturing of methamphetamine and fentanyl in Mexico, and experiments with synthesizing party drugs in…

Illegal Cigarettes Produced with Slave Labor in Brazil

NEWS / 2 NOV 2021

Counterfeit cigarettes may appear harmless, but the illicit tobacco trade often spurs other criminal activities – with the latest case being the use of slave labor by a ring that…

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 / 28 OCT 2021

A Nigerian trafficking network is now using "mules" to move drugs from South America to Europe, exemplifying how this growing drug consumer market is drawing mafias from around the world…

BRAZIL / 6 OCT 2021

The scale of illegal mining on an Indigenous reserve deep in Brazil’s Amazon has grown so large that fleets of small aircraft are landing on remote airstrips to truck in…

BRAZIL / 28 SEP 2021

Authorities have made Brazil's largest ever-seizure of ecstasy in the southern state of Santa Catarina in the latest example of how the production of the synthetic drug is spreading rapidly…

BOLIVIA / 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.

BRAZIL / 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…

BRAZIL / 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…

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