The PCC, one of Brazil's two major prison gangs, earns at least $2.5 million a month from various criminal activities, making it now, arguably, the most powerful criminal syndicate in the country.
Estimations as to the earnings of the First Capital Command (PCC) came from police documents seen by El Pais, which detail revenue from the sale of drugs, robberies and assaults, and even the renting of weapons. In addition to these illicit income sources, there may be more money from members of the PCC not in prison, who are required to make contributions of up to $340 a month to support their incarcerated brethren.
The operations of the PCC, which has over 11,000 members, are no longer restricted to their birthplace of São Paulo. InSight Crime investigations indicate the group has a presence in all but three of Brazil's 27 states. The Brazilian government is aware of the threat posed by the group and has sought to limit its growing power.
InSight Crime Analysis
It is likely that the PCC's monthly earnings are far in excess of $2.5 million a month, as the different elements affiliated to the PCC often engage in their own criminal activity. The different PCC elements are not part of a tightly disciplined and centrally controlled organization. It is for the incarcerated members of the PCC that membership in the group is most important. The group was born in prison in 1993, and it is here that its central mission remains, to protect those members locked up in Brazil's often brutal prison system. Most of the PCC's identified leadership is in prison.
SEE ALSO: First Capital Command Profile
Elements of the PCC are now operating internationally. Both permanently present cells and emissaries of the PCC have been tracked to Bolivia and Paraguay. The first is a source country for cocaine and its derivatives, which are much sought-after for Brazil's booming domestic market, now second only to the United States. Paraguay, meanwhile, is the principal supplier of marijuana in South America. Again PCC elements, keen to secure abundant and constant supplies of this drug, appear to be permanently active in this country.
There have also been indications that the PCC is seeking to expand its powerbase by moving into politics.