HomeNewsBriefBrazil Arrests Disrupt Red Command's Drug, Gun Supply
BRIEF

Brazil Arrests Disrupt Red Command's Drug, Gun Supply

BRAZIL / 9 APR 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Authorities in Brazil have arrested two alleged top weapons and drug providers for Rio de Janeiro's notorious Red Command, potentially disrupting transnational supply lines for the powerful group as it faces security force pressure in one of its strongholds.

Ricardo dos Santos Silva, alias "Tubarão" (Shark), was arrested on April 7 in western Rio de Janeiro, reported Estadão. According to Rio's 33rd Police Precinct, Silva smuggled drugs from Brazil's southern border cities of Ponta Pora and Foz do Iguacu into Rio favelas and areas surrounding the city, and was the largest supplier of drugs and weapons for the Red Command (Comando Vermelho).

Another drug trafficker, Sidnei da Silva Araujo, alias "Mangustão," was arrested on the same day, with falsified identity documents on his person. Da Silva is touted as the principal distributor of drugs and weapons in the slums of Nova Holanda and Parque União in the Complexo da Mare -- a sprawling set of favelas in northern Rio largely controlled by the Red Command -- and allegedly brought drugs up from Paraguay.

Around the time of the arrests, members of the armed forces were attacked by criminals in Complexo da Mare, shortly after they occupied the complex on April 5 as part of the city's slum pacification program, reported G1 Globo.

The attacks occurred at at least five different points, with shots fired at soldiers patrolling the streets, following demonstrations to protest the pacification attempt.

InSight Crime Analysis

The arrests of the two traffickers shines light on the supply routes for the drugs and arms the Red Command needs for control and profit in Rio's favelas. Police reports suggest both men trafficked contraband originating in Paraguay, a key transit country for drugs and arms moving into Brazil, and one where the Red Command has reportedly established a presence.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Red Command

If it is true that the two men were among the gang's major drugs and arms suppliers, then their arrests would mark a significant setback for the Red Command, at a time when the group is simultaneously threatened by the militarization of favelas under its control.

However, the attacks against security forces in Complexo da Mare, which has been a key base for the Red Command's operations, could be the latest indication that the gang is prepared to challenge attempts to break their hold on the favelas, in order to preserve its illegal enterprises.

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 / 17 JAN 2013

Kidnappings in Rio de Janeiro almost doubled between 2011 and 2012, which could be connected to the damage to drug…

BRAZIL / 12 APR 2018

The 2018 Summit of the Americas will likely see many uncomfortable conversions between nervous politicians -- and perhaps a heavy…

BRAZIL / 3 MAR 2021

Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, has seen some important security advances in recent years, taking dozens of communities in Rio…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…