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. 

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

Related Content

BRAZIL / 5 FEB 2018

Top security officials in Brazil and Mexico are questioning traditional strategies towards combating organized crime, but it’s unlikely that…

BRAZIL / 8 AUG 2012

Traffickers have killed an officer from Rio de Janeiro's police pacification units in the first deadly attack on the elite…

BELIZE / 5 DEC 2013

After a two decade long hiatus, gang truces are back in vogue in the Americas. Very generally, truces usually include…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …