HomeNewsBriefBrazilian 'Red Command Gang Boss' Murdered in Paraguay
BRIEF

Brazilian 'Red Command Gang Boss' Murdered in Paraguay

BRAZIL / 19 JUL 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

A suspected Brazilian gang leader based in one of Paraguay's key locations for smuggling contraband was gunned down while playing pool, pointing to the country's popularity as a safe haven for Brazilian criminals.

Osmar Jesus Chavez, alias "Bola de Fogo" ("fireball" in Portuguese) was playing pool at a bar some 40 kilometers from the Brazilian border when two gunmen burst in through the side door, their faces covered. The assassins, armed with shotguns, ordered Chavez and his companion to the floor and shot them in the head.

Chavez, an alleged commander of the notorious Brazilian prison gang the Red Command (Comando Vermelho) who lived a few blocks away from the bar where he was killed, apparently paid large sums to local authorities to avoid being "bothered," ABC reported.

The torched remains of a Chevrolet Vectra, believed to have been used by the gunmen for transport and then destroyed, was found some 10 kilometers from where the murders took place.

InSight Crime Analysis

That Chavez lived so close to the Brazilian border, apparently paying off local officials to operate unimpeded while using a fake Paraguayan ID, speaks of the country's lax law enforcement. (According to a previous ABC report, the trafficker's real name is Josimar Jesus and "Omar de Jesus Chavez" is his Paraguayan alias.) This has helped turn the country into a major cocaine trafficking hub for Brazilian gangs like the Red Command.

Chavez apparently considered Paraguay enough of a safe haven for him to remain there despite reportedly receiving threats from rival groups that caused him to hire extra security guards. The fact that he was based in Paraguay's Canindeyu department, which offers easy access to Ciudad del Este (a massive transit point for products illicitly entering Brazil), and Salto del Guaira, which is connected by a bridge to Brazil, could suggest that he was killed because his rivals wanted to establish a stronger hold on this strategic territory.

Chavez's death is only the latest indication of Red Command presence in Paraguay. The Brazilian Federal Police representative in Paraguay has previously complained that Brazilian traffickers are fleeing the security crackdowns in urban centers like Rio de Janeiro, and relocating to Paraguay.

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 / 11 JUL 2019

Brazilian prison gang the PCC has laundered an estimated $15 million of drug money through accounts opened by relatives of…

BRAZIL / 28 APR 2015

Among soccer fans worldwide, Argentina's "barras bravas," Italian "ultras," and British hooligans are the fan groups best known for perpetrating…

BRAZIL / 28 JUL 2011

Federal Police found 18,000 ecstasy tablets in north Brazil, in the country's largest synthetic drug seizeure so far this year,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.