The Rise of the PCC: Expansion in Brazil and Beyond

BRAZIL / 18 DEC 2020

Based on 18 months of field work in Brazil and Paraguay, this investigation explores the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC), the hemisphere’s premier prison gang and one of the largest in the Americas.

The PCC is a unique organization. It is headquartered in Brazil’s and increasingly Paraguay’s penitentiary systems, but it has satellite organizations throughout the region, who are trafficking drugs on a local and an international level.

This series was done in conjunction with American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies.

Chapter 1

PCC Investigation: Introduction and Major Findings

BRAZIL / 11 DEC 2020

It was August 31, 1993, and the sun was shining when eight men entered a makeshift soccer pitch in the middle of the Taubaté prison.

Chapter 2

PCC: A Prison from Which There Is No Escape

BRAZIL / 14 DEC 2020

It was a Tuesday night, January 14, 2020, after “free time” when prison authorities found his body.

Chapter 3

How PCC ‘Discipline’ Helped Gang Control the Underworld

BRAZIL / 15 DEC 2020

On November 14, 2016, about 12 p.m., Carlos Magno de Souza was driving along the asphalt streets of Peruíbe, São Paulo, past the single-story houses that dot the seaside city…

Chapter 4

Court Case Paints Picture of Disorganization in Brazil’s PCC

BRAZIL / 16 DEC 2020

The PCC is often described as Brazil’s most potent criminal gang, but a recent case against it paints a picture that belies the reputation of the group as a strict,…

Chapter 5

While Taking Paraguay-Brazil Border, PCC Tries to Control Its Own

BRAZIL / 17 DEC 2020

On June 10, 2016, Jorge Rafaat was driving his armored Hummer when he pulled up to a stop light in central Pedro Juan Caballero, a Paraguayan city at the border…

Chapter 6

Intercepts Show How Brazil Police Extort PCC

BRAZIL / 18 DEC 2020

“Plata o Plomo” is an overused phrase to describe the way criminals threaten officials and civilians to ensure compliance with their wishes. In one Brazilian case, it seems more appropriately…

Full Report

Click here to download the full report: The Rise of the PCC: Expansion in Brazil and Beyond

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 24 JUL 2017

Authorities in Bolivia and Brazil will enter into a bilateral agreement later this month aimed at combating the expansion…

PARAGUAY / 21 OCT 2013

An uncle of Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes has been imprisoned for drug trafficking in Uruguay, while his son was…

BRAZIL / 23 SEP 2015

“From boardrooms to battlefields and churches to states, why being in charge isn't what it used to be,” reads the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

icon #SupportFreePress
image

Support Our Work

Investigating organized crime is an expensive and often risky enterprise. Reaching primary sources and getting the real story involve extensive fieldwork. Please donate. Every dollar supports our mission.

DONATE NOW image