HomeNewsBriefBrazil's 'Friends' Gang Show their Muscle in Olympic Pool: Police
BRIEF

Brazil's 'Friends' Gang Show their Muscle in Olympic Pool: Police

AMIGOS DOS AMIGOS / 22 OCT 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

A photo has emerged of suspected members of Rio's Amigos dos Amigos gang sporting weapons in a swimming pool set to be used in the 2016 Olympic Games, providing an indication of the security challenge criminal groups pose to major public events in Brazil.

The photo (pictured) shows men armed with three assault rifles posing in a swimming pool in the Felix Mielli Venerando Olympic Village in northern Rio de Janeiro's Honorio Gurgel neighborhood. According to Folha, the image -- along with several others in which gang members show off weapons in Rio neighborhoods -- was posted on Facebook and subsequently acquired by police. 

Police discovered the break-in at the venue in mid-October, reported Folha

According to police, the men in the photo belonged to a faction of Amigos dos Amigos (Friends of Friends - ADA) led by Celso Pinheiro Pimenta, alias "Playboy."

In a communication intercepted by police, Pinheiro Pimenta stated: "I loved the pool, man. What a complex, it's all ours."

Authorities said security had since been heightened in the complex, which was built for the 2016 Summer Olympics, reported the International Business Times.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the incident appears to be little more than a few armed men showing off their shiny weapons, it is a reminder that Brazil's major gangs have the capacity to cause havoc at events like the Olympics. 

In the run-up to the recent 2014 World Cup, rising gang attacks on police in Rio led to claims these groups were attempting to "sabotage" the event, while the First Capital Command (PCC) gang of São Paulo threatened a "World Cup of Terror." Meanwhile, Southern Pulse pointed to the potential for a smaller gang -- the First Catarinense Group -- to expand its operations outside Brazil's biggest urban centers while security attention was focused on Rio and São Paulo.

SEE ALSO: Amigos dos Amigos Profile 

ADA is one of Rio's top drug gangs, and disputes territory with its progenitor, the Red Command (CV), and another splinter gang, the Pure Third Command (TCP). While the ADA has faced challenges from Rio's "pacification" program, it appears to be retaking control of key parts of the city, such as Rocinha -- the biggest favela -- and flexing its muscle against the other gangs. In the lead-up to the October 5 presidential elections, police attributed violence in the Mare favela complex to Playboy looking to take back areas from the Pure Third Command. Insecurity caused by these gangs forced President Dilma Rousseff and the Rio state governor to abandon Mare during a public event in September. 

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 SEP 2014

Three governors and several other politicians in Brazil have been linked to a multi-billion dollar money laundering scheme allegedly involving…

BRAZIL / 16 APR 2014

A new report by the international watchdog group Global Witness says two-thirds of documented killings of environmentalists over the last…

BRAZIL / 22 APR 2013

Brazilian drug gang the Red Command sends a ton of Colombian cocaine each month into Brazil from Paraguay, according to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…