HomeNewsBriefPolice Documents Reveal ‘Hezbollah Ties’ to Brazil’s PCC
BRIEF

Police Documents Reveal 'Hezbollah Ties' to Brazil's PCC

BRAZIL / 10 NOV 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Police documents reportedly revealed links between Hezbollah and a Brazilian prison gang, providing further fodder for claims that the Islamic militia group has ties to criminal organizations in Latin America.

According to federal police documents obtained by O Globo, Lebanese traffickers linked to Hezbollah -- who are based where the Brazilian, Paraguayan, and Argentine frontiers meet -- have helped Brazilian prison gang the First Capital Command (PCC) obtain weapons. In exchange for protecting prisoners of Lebanese origin detained in Brazil, the Lebanese traffickers reportedly provide the PCC with access to international arms smuggling channels. Additionally, the documents reportedly said that the Lebanese traffickers helped sell C4 explosives that the PCC allegedly stole in Paraguay.  

According to O Globo, the documents indicated that the association between Lebanese traffickers and the PCC began in 2006, but was only discovered by police in 2008.

InSight Crime Analysis

Allegations that Hezbollah has ties to criminals operating in the tri-border region date back to at least 2006, when the US Treasury Department identified nine individuals in the area accused of providing Hezbollah with financial and logistical support. Several of the individuals on the list were identified as drug traffickers and arms dealers, but according to the Treasury Department their support of Hezbollah was limited mainly to operating a fundraising network.

The Brazilian government has never officially confirmed the US Treasury Department's assertions, but the documents obtained by O Globo indicate that the country's police have also uncovered evidence linking Hezbollah to Brazilian groups. Allegations that Lebanese traffickers with ties to Hezbollah have helped the PCC obtain weapons and sell explosives are especially troubling, as they indicate that the Islamic group's links in the country may go far beyond fundraising.

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profiles

There have been other reports of Hezbollah working with criminal groups in Latin America, but most appear to be largely unsubstantiated. In 2011, US authorities revealed an alleged plot by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards to pay Zetas members to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington DC, although as InSight Crime has previously noted, the story is not very convincing. US authorities have also accused a Lebanese man of selling cocaine to the Zetas and sending the profits to Hezbollah, and Israeli media reported in 2012 that the Islamic militia group had set up a training base in Nicaragua. 

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.

Tags

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 / 24 JUN 2016

Much of the South American cocaine destined for global markets flows through Brazil according a UN report, and there are…

ARGENTINA / 22 JAN 2019

With a worsening crisis in Venezuela, dark days in Nicaragua, an ever more fragile peace process in Colombia, new governments…

BRAZIL / 14 NOV 2011

Brazil-based blogger Julia Michaels reports on the much-anticipated police take-over of favelas in Rio de Janeiro's South Zone, and an…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.