HomeNewsBriefBrazil Prison Gang Conducted 10-Hour Conference Call
BRIEF

Brazil Prison Gang Conducted 10-Hour Conference Call

BRAZIL / 5 DEC 2012 BY JACK DAVIS EN

A 10-hour conference call that gang members hosted from inside a São Paulo jail highlights how gang leaders in Brazil are able to directly conduct their "business" from the safety of their prison cells.

A Federal Police recording recently heard by Folha de São Paulo involves a 10-hour discussion between five members of the First Capital Command (PCC) gang. The conversation involved two inmates and three gang members based outside of the prison. According to the newspaper, the talk was all business: topics included trafficking drugs to Paraguay and Bolivia, and the distribution of marijuana and cocaine inside Brazil.

The call, recorded on February 10, 2011, was one of many recorded between October 2010 and May 2012 as part of an ongoing investigation known as Operation Leviatã, targeting organized crime in São Paulo.  The Ministry of Justice, which is currently processing the recordings, said that on average such conference calls involve four gang members, although recordings illustrate that as many nine gang members have taken part in a single call.

When asked about the conference calls, the Secretary of Penitentiary Administration responded that actions had been taken to prevent the entrance and use of cell phones within prisons.

InSight Crime Analysis

The PCC is now a nationwide threat in Brazil due in part to its leadership’s ability to capitalize on weak controls in the national prison system and run the gang from the inside. In 2006, PCC founder Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias "Marcola," who is currently serving a 29-year sentence in the prison where the 10-hour conference call was made, was quoted as saying, "Here in prison you cannot come and kill me but I can arrange for you to be killed out there."

Attempts by police and prison authorities to limit inmate contact with outside criminal networks have been largely unsuccessful.  According to Folha de São Paulo, prisons have so far failed to block cell phone reception, though the use of metal detectors and X-ray screenings has occasionally halted the entrance of phones into the cell blocks.

The struggle to limit outside communication is part of a larger regional problem facing prisons around Latin America. At La Picota prison in Colombia, for example, where officials were able to successfully block cell phone reception, inmates were able to set up their own antennae, ensuring continued contact and participation in their criminal networks on the outside.

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 / 27 JAN 2022

Residents in Rio de Janeiro's marginalized favelas are contending with yet another massive police operation promising to deliver a true…

BRAZIL / 13 JAN 2022

Three shipments of cocaine were caught on the same day as they were about to head to France, Spain and…

BRAZIL / 6 JAN 2022

The dismantling of a gang trafficking marijuana and cocaine from Colombia to Brazil has revealed greater connections between organized crime…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…