HomeNewsBriefAlleged PCC Operatives Arrested in Bolivia
BRIEF

Alleged PCC Operatives Arrested in Bolivia

BOLIVIA / 21 JAN 2013 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Three alleged members of the Brazilian PCC prison gang have been arrested in the Bolivian department of Santa Cruz, as foreign cartels increase their presence in this vulnerable drug-producing nation, despite continuing government denials.

The three men -- one Peruvian and two Colombians -- were detained in operations carried out in the eastern department of Santa Cruz between January 15 and 19, reported La Razon. They are suspected of belonging to the First Capital Command (PCC) and participating in a network that produced and sent narcotics across the border into Brazil.

In a government communique released January 20, the captured men were referred to as "emissaries," of the PCC, reported Caracol Radio. Bolivian Interior Minister Carlos Romero hailed the arrests as being a "severe blow to drug trafficking."

InSight Crime Analysis

The choice of language, referring to the men as emissaries, is in keeping with the government's desire to play down the presence of foreign drug trafficking gangs on its soil. This line was strayed from briefly last November when the director of Bolivia's anti-narcotics police, the FELCN, told La Razon that the PCC does in fact have a presence in the country. Social Defense Deputy Minister Felipe Caceres quickly denied this, continuing to refer to the presence as being merely that of emissaries.

One curious point in this case is the allegation that the two Colombian nationals were working with the PCC rather than Colombian gangs. Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin claimed last year that Colombian drug trafficking groups were active in the country, while in 2011 an anonymous Colombian intelligence official estimated there to be some 3,000 Colombian criminals active in Bolivia.

Santa Cruz is perhaps the most vital area in Bolivia for drug traffickers. Not only is it the site for much of the country's cocaine production, it also borders Brazil, the biggest market for Bolivian cocaine and the second largest consumer of the drug after the United States. One Brazilian embassy official estimated in 2011 that between 60 and 80 percent of all Bolivian cocaine ends up in Brazil.

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 / 29 JAN 2015

In Brazil, 42,000 young people -- the majority non-white males -- will die violently between 2013 and 2019, according to…

BRAZIL / 16 AUG 2021

The capture of a top Anti-Bala coalition member in Paraguay threatens to weaken a longstanding criminal in Brazil's southern border…

ARGENTINA / 6 JAN 2017

In 2016, governments continued to use militarized approaches to combating organized crime in Latin America, despite mounting evidence of human…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…