HomeNewsBriefBrazil Capture Shows Foreign Ties of Red Command Cocaine Brokers
BRIEF

Brazil Capture Shows Foreign Ties of Red Command Cocaine Brokers

BRAZIL / 5 MAY 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Police in Brazil have arrested a man who allegedly oversaw the trafficking of 200 kilos of cocaine a month from Bolivia and Paraguay and supplied Rio de Janeiro's principal criminal group, highlighting the international connections of the Red Command's local suppliers.

Eduardo Herculano da Silva, alias "Airplane," was arrested while negotiating a drug sale in one of Rio's largest slums, Complexo da Mare, following a shootout between security forces and his bodyguards, reported O Dia. Police commissioner Delmir Gouveia said at the time of his capture the trafficker had been planning to get plastic surgery and escape Brazil.

Police said Herculano da Silva was the Red Command's principal cocaine supplier, and that he worked independently distributing cocaine in favelas controlled by the group, reported O Dia. Terra, meanwhile, reported he was a member of the gang.

According to Gouveia, Herculano da Silva admitted to getting drugs from Bolivia in shipments of 150 to 200 kilos, which were trafficked in truck tires. G1 Globo reported he moved 200 kilos per month and additionally brought cocaine from Paraguay.

Herculano da Silva had been a fugitive from prison since 2008, and had eight arrest warrants outstanding at the time of his capture, reported G1 Globo.

InSight Crime Analysis

This is the third arrest in under a month of an important Red Command supplier. In April, police arrested a man they called the group's key arms and drugs provider, and another suspect considered the top drug distributor in some sectors of Complexo da Mare, who also had links to Paraguay. 

Both the Red Command and São Paulo prison gang the First Capital Command (PCC) are known to have established a presence in Bolivia and Paraguay -- each key transit countries and significant producers of cocaine and marijuana respectively. The Red Command is reported to traffic up to one ton of cocaine a month out of Paraguay.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Red Command

The recent arrests provide another sign of these connections, and also highlight the Red Command's reliance on suppliers apparently operating outside their core structure. The arrests may have some impact on the group's supply lines, but it is likely new distributors will quickly rise to replace the captured suspects.

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 / 9 JUN 2021

Manaus, the economic heart of Brazil’s Amazon, has come under siege from the Red Command gang after the killing of…

BRAZIL / 9 AUG 2022

Under President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's highway police seems to have become a brutal instrument of death.

BRAZIL / 28 MAY 2021

Court cases. Hitmen. Interpol. International drug traffickers sometimes need to get away from it all. Brazil has sought to cater…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…