HomeNewsAnalysisParaguay’s Underworld Fighting Back Against PCC in Brazil
ANALYSIS

Paraguay’s Underworld Fighting Back Against PCC in Brazil

BRAZIL / 24 JUL 2019 BY CHRIS DALBY AND FEDERICO PINZÓN ARANA EN

The brutal murder of a Brazilian drug trafficker seemingly carried out by a Paraguayan gang has shown how escalating violence is impacting the border state of Mato Grosso do Sul, long a criminal stronghold for Brazil's PCC.

On July 16, Emanuel Dias Ecker, a member of Brazil’s largest criminal gang, the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC), was shot about 50 times in the city of Paranhos, located on the Brazilian side of the border with Paraguay, reported Midiamax, a Mato Grosso do Sol news outlet.

The murder was allegedly carried out by Paraguay’s Alderete Clan, a gang based in the town of Ypejhu, right across the border from Paranhos, according to Midiamax.

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profile

The killing comes after 30 members of the PCC reportedly attacked two properties belonging to the Alderete Clan in Ypejhu in December 2018, according to ABC Color. Local press reports viewed this as a message sent by PCC commander Sérgio de Arruda Quintiliano Netto, alias "Minotauro," who led the gang’s efforts along the Brazil-Paraguay border before his arrest in early 2019.

The murder also could be seen as pushback by the Alderete clan against the PCC, which has increased its dominance of cross-border drug trafficking, especially in border cities such as Pedro Juan Caballero, Ypejhu and Capitán Bado.

In May, the PCC allegedly tipped off the police about a large shipment of marijuana belonging to the Paraguayan gang, leading to its seizure, Midiamax reported.

In recent years, the PCC has made incursions into Paraguay, quickly establishing control of key criminal economies like drug trafficking and dominating Paraguay’s prisons, as it does in large parts of Brazil.

InSight Crime Analysis

The murder of a PCC member by a Paraguayan gang on Brazilian soil, especially in the gang’s backyard of Mato Grosso do Sul, sends a powerful message that Paraguay’s underworld will not simply roll over for the PCC, despite its far greater strength and reach.

Though the PCC began as a São Paulo-based prison gang, it has since spread to become a nationwide threat with the state of Mato Grosso do Sul being one of its three main fortresses, along with the states of São Paulo and Paraná. Its control of Mato Grosso do Sul, which shares a long border with Paraguay, has been a major advantage as the group has spread into the neighboring country.

“Historically, the PCC has focused most of its strength in Mato Grosso do Sul, establishing there since 2009 a business model which has extended to the borders with Paraguay and Bolivia,” said Bruno Paes Manso, a leading expert on the PCC and an investigator at the University of São Paulo’s Violence Studies Institute.

SEE ALSO: PCC News and Profile

“Mato Grosso do Sul is particularly strategic as it acts as a bridge for drug and weapons trafficking between its capital, Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Paraguay," he told InSight Crime.

The Red Command (Comando Vermelho – CV) -- longtime rivals of the PCC and Brazil’s second-largest gang -- are also vying for a slice of Paraguay's criminal pie. Regular outbreaks of violence across Brazil have been linked to the PCC-Red Command war. The continuation of this violence in Mato Grosso do Sul is not surprising.

But a Paraguay clan’s brazen slaying of a PCC member on the gang’s own turf shows that the PCC’s takeover of Paraguay’s criminal landscape may not be as easy as once thought.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 3 JUN 2011

Following a string of murders in a logging village in Brazil's Amazon, the government is working to increase state presence…

BRAZIL / 2 JUL 2020

The states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro recorded upticks in numbers of killings by Brazilian police during the…

BRAZIL / 23 APR 2019

A series of revelations about how militias in Rio de Janeiro are laundering large quantities of money through illegal real…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…