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…

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PARAGUAY / 10 AUG 2018

Paraguay authorities have dismantled a trafficking network tied to officials in a major marijuana-producing region bordering Brazil, highlighting the widespread…

BRAZIL / 14 JAN 2021

The reported leader of the PCC in Paraguay, known as “Bonitão,” has been extradited back to Brazil after a tumultuous…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …