HomeNewsBriefBrazil Launches Offensive Against Organized Crime in Amazon
BRIEF

Brazil Launches Offensive Against Organized Crime in Amazon

BRAZIL / 25 NOV 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Brazil has initiated a large-scale offensive against a drug trafficking organization that was reportedly establishing a "parallel state" in the Amazon, highlighting the immense security challenges facing authorities in this remote jungle region. 

On November 20, 400 federal police and 300 military police officers carried out a coordinated operation in several cities in the Amazon and various other parts of the country, reported O Globo. The police reportedly have over 100 arrest warrants for alleged members of a powerful criminal group based in Brazil's northern jungle.

In a November 20 press release, federal police stated that the group was using "extreme violence" to create a "parallel state" in the area. "Their leaders handed down sentences on a daily basis," the press release added. Through coordination with Interpol, members of the criminal group are also being sought after in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia, the police said. 

According to the police, this group -- which is not given a name -- was responsible for what has become known as the "Bloody Weekend," when 38 people were assassinated in the Amazon capital of Manaus over a three-day period this past July.

In addition to drug trafficking, the group is allegedly involved in arms trafficking, money laundering, homicide, and kidnapping, among other crimes, reported AFP.

InSight Crime Analysis

The criminal group's ability to reportedly set up its own rule of law speaks to how weak state presence in remote areas such as the Amazon provides ample opportunity for organized crime to flourish. Despite efforts to stem the tide of illegal activity in the Amazon, Brazil's expansive and remote border region makes this a daunting task. In the jungle town of Tabatinga, drug-related violence has reportedly caused the homicide rate to soar to 87 per 100,000.

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profiles

The group's apparent high level of coordination also raises concerns that increasingly sophisticated criminal networks are moving into the Brazilian Amazon. This appears to be taking place across the border in Colombia's Amazon region as well; although security officials told InSight Crime last year that narco-paramilitary groups known as "bandas criminales" (BACRIM) have no presence in the Amazon, the May 2014 arrests of nine narco-paramilitaries looking to set up operations in the jungle region suggest otherwise. 

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.

Tags

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

BOLIVIA / 22 SEP 2021

A heist of Brazilian planes that were later discovered in Bolivia has offered a unique look into how drug planes…

BRAZIL / 22 NOV 2021

For the last few weeks, the twists and turns in the case of the Pharaoh of Bitcoins have constantly made…

BRAZIL / 28 DEC 2021

There was record destruction of the Amazon in 2020, as the rainforest lost an area around the size of Belize,…

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…