PCC Profile

First Capital Command - PCC

First Capital Command - PCC

The First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital - PCC) was inspired by the Red Command (Comando Vermelho). Both criminal organizations were formed by prisoners as self-protection groups in Brazil’s brutal prison system. The PCC arose in São Paulo in the 1990s, and has fought a bloody ongoing feud with police in the city. The group, now the largest and best-organized criminal organization in Brazil, is believed to have members in two-thirds of the country's states, and controls drug trafficking routes between Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

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First Capital Command (PCC) News

Brazil Arrests Police Following Soccer Club Massacre

Brazil Arrests Police Following Soccer Club Massacre

The arrests of one current and one former police officer in connection to a recent soccer club massacre in São Paulo, Brazil add a new twist to an incident allegedly tied to the PCC criminal group.  Read More

More First Capital Command (PCC) News

  • Brazil Arrests Police Following Soccer Club Massacre

    Police guard the site of the massacre

    The arrests of one current and one former police officer in connection to a recent soccer club massacre in São Paulo, Brazil add a new twist to an incident allegedly tied to the PCC criminal group. 

  • PCC Faction Linked to Spate of Armed Robberies in Paraguay

    The aftermath of the Prosegur robbery attempt

    Elements of Brazil's PCC prison gang appear to be behind a spike in criminal activity in eastern Paraguay, illustrating the criminal organization's use of the lawless border region to regroup and carry out illegal operations.

  • Brazil’s PCC, Mimicking the Country, Shifts Towards China

    Brazil's PCC gang started in prison

    A news report in Brazil, citing a government investigation, says the PCC criminal organization uses bank accounts in the United States and China to launder money, illustrating how the São Paulo gang is, in some ways, using Brazil's increasing economic ties with countries such as China to hide their illegal businesses.

  • Career of Paraguay Crime Boss Highlights LatAm's Changing Drug Trade

    Paraguay narco "Capilo" (left) alongside Brazil's "Pavao"

    Criminal groups in Latin America's Southern Cone are increasingly focused on feeding the region's domestic market for drugs, rather than exporting cocaine overseas. Up until now, Paraguay's prominent drug traffickers have largely played a supporting role in this dynamic -- but that may be set to change, as demonstrated by the career of one Paraguayan crime boss.

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

    Hezbollah supporters in Brazil

    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.

  • Brazil's PCC Gang Worked with Italian Mafia

    The Santos port, where the cocaine was seized

    Federal authorities in Brazil say they have identified a man who worked as a contact between Italy's 'Ndrangheta mafia and Brazil's PCC criminal group -- allegedly the first time authorities have been able to establish a relationship between these two groups.

  • From Black Serpents to PCC: A Brazil Gang Myth Turned Nightmare

    The site of the infamous Carandiru Massacre

    Thirty years ago, an alleged criminal organization called the Black Serpents -- whose existence was never proven -- was used to justify the government’s decision to halt the implementation of a more humane policy in São Paulo’s prisons. What followed was increased repression and the 1992 Carandiru prison massacre, which left 111 inmates dead. And then came the PCC prison gang.

  • Negotiating with Brazil's Prison Gangs: Short-Term Fix, Long-Term Problem

    A deadly riot in southern Brazil illustrates how inhumane prison conditions and powerful prison gangs create an explosive situation, which authorities are sometimes tempted to resolve by negotiating with gangs like the First Capital Command (PCC).

  • Internal Displacement in Brazil: An Inconvenient Truth?

    As Brazil works to project the image of a nation that is effectively addressing security challenges in its major cities, one important indicator -- internal displacement -- is being overlooked. 

  • Inside the 'Cracklands' of Rio de Janeiro's Favelas

    Brazil is currently the second biggest consumer market for cocaine and its derivatives in the world, after the United States. Coca paste and crack are sold in bulk and at a very low price in the so-called "cracklands" of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The Dromomanos collective, winner of the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Awards, brings us into the darkest corners of the country that consumes 18 percent of drugs produced globally.