HomeNewsBriefBrazil's PGC Gang Emulates Larger Rivals in Move to Paraguay
BRIEF

Brazil's PGC Gang Emulates Larger Rivals in Move to Paraguay

BRAZIL / 2 MAR 2020 BY LAURA MARCELA ZUÑIGA EN

Two recent events show how one of Brazil's regional gangs, the PGC, is making waves inside Paraguay, likely seeking to emulate the drug trafficking success that its larger rivals have found there.

On February 5, Paraguayan authorities captured Guillerme Antonio Vieira, alias "Xiru,” the supposed leader of the Brazilian group Primeiro Grupo Catarinense (PGC) in Paraguay's border city of Capitán Bado. 

As the regional PGC chief in Paraguay, Vieira was responsible for sending monthly shipments of cocaine and weapons to the group’s headquarters, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, who in turn distributed the drugs in Brazil and abroad, ABC Color reported

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profile

This is not the first time that the PGC has been found to have a connection to Paraguay. In January 2019, five members were captured on a highway close to Ciudad del Este, in the border area between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, according to a statement by Paraguay's national police

While not a national criminal threat on the scale of the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital - PCC) and Comando Vermelho (Red Command - CV), the PGC has largely uncontested control over the southern state of Santa Catarina and its capital city of Florianópolis, a port and strategic corridor for trafficking drugs abroad.  

In 2014, a report by Peru's Counternarcotics Directorate (Dirreción Nacional Antidrogas – DIRANDRO) stated that this group may have been responsible for up to 60 percent of the cocaine trafficked out of the country. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Paraguay has until now been reported to largely be a playground of the PCC, Brazil's largest criminal group, which is taking over the country's prison system and feuding with local gangs. But this shows that Brazil's smaller gangs also want a share of the pie.

Following in the wake of the PCC and CV which have converted border cities like Pedro Juan Caballero into permanent operation centers, from where they control the trafficking of drugs and arms into Brazil, may actually have made it easier for the PGC to set up shop.

SEE ALSO: São Paulo, Paraguay and Beyond: The PCC’s Growing Power

The flow of cocaine through Santa Catarina has been steadily rising and the most likely origin of this increase is Paraguay. This February, Brazilian authorities conducted the largest seizure in the history of Puerto de Itapóa, one of Santa Catarina's biggest ports, with 1.6 tons of coca paste found in a shipment of wood bound for the Netherlands.

Two weeks earlier, a seizure of 600 kilograms of coca paste was found at the same port, destined for Belgium.

In November 2019, police seized 445 kilograms of cocaine in the port of Navegantes, north of Florianópolis, located to the north of Santa Catarina, Globo reported. The drugs were allegedly heading for the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

In 2018, police reports revealed that the seizures had increased by 428 percent within 11 years, NSC Total reported.

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

HOMICIDES / 16 FEB 2022

Brazen killings by hired gunmen have not only shaken Paraguay recently but shined a light on the growing use of…

CONTRABAND / 24 OCT 2022

A new report by Paraguay’s Congress has connected former president, Horacio Cartes, to a raft of crimes.

BRAZIL / 4 JUN 2021

A government registry in Brazil has been used to designate millions of hectares of Amazon forest as rural lands, in…

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…