Brazil News

Brazil Lacks Coherent Plan to Deal With ‘National Emergency’ of Insecurity

Brazil Lacks Coherent Plan to Deal With ‘National Emergency’ of Insecurity

Brazil's president has described a deepening, nationwide crisis of insecurity as a "national emergency." But contrary to official rhetoric, the government does not appear to have a coherent plan to address the main drivers of violence and crime.

Brazil Profile

Brazil

Brazil

Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, has seen some important security advances in recent years, taking dozens of communities in Rio de Janeiro from criminal gangs through its innovative UPP security program. However, it faces a serious threat from its two largest domestic criminal gangs, the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando Capital - PCC) and Red Command (Comando Vermelho), who are becoming increasingly involved in the international drug trade, as well as operating extortion and kidnapping rings at home. Militia groups composed mostly of police are another source of violent crime, extorting entire neighborhoods and carrying out extrajudicial killings. The country is one of the biggest cocaine markets in the world and is an increasingly important drug trafficking transit point for cocaine shipments heading to Europe.

More Brazil News

  • Life Imitates Art: ‘City of God’ Actor Accused of Killing Rio Cop

    Ivan da Silva Martins with City of God co-stars

    Fifteen years after the release of one of Brazil's most famous movies, a man who played a drug trafficker in the film has been accused of becoming a real-life gang boss, illustrating how closely the critically-acclaimed chronicle of organized crime in Rio de Janeiro parallels the reality still playing out in the city today.

  • Weekly InSight: Drugs and Security, Latin America's Lessons for the World

    Opuim poppy fields in Afghanistan

    In our August 3 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke with Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown about the lessons Latin America has learned in its decades-long fight against drug-related violence, and how those lessons fit into the global context.

  • Latin America Again Ranks as World's Least Secure Region: Report

    A demonstrator in Venezuela, the country's with the world's worst "law and order" score

    For the eighth year in a row, an annual report from the Gallup polling organization has ranked Latin America as the least secure region in the world, underscoring the persistence of regional security challenges and the ways in which crime and insecurity impact citizens' daily lives.

  • Brazil Military Deployment in Rio Shows Past Failures of Militarization

    Brazilian troops on patrol in Rio de Janeiro

    Brazil's defense minister has announced a new phase of security operations in Rio de Janeiro that will involve a massive military deployment, a strategy often used throughout Latin America that has repeatedly failed to produce long-term improvements.

  • How Odebrecht Profited From Corrupting LatAm Political Elites

    The logo of Brazil's once-mighty construction giant, Odebrecht

    On December 21, 2016, the US Department of Justice and Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht reached a record-setting anti-corruption settlement that revealed Odebrecht spent hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to secure public works contracts in twelve different countries across three continents. Half a year later, InSight Crime takes a deep dive into the nature of Odebrecht's corrupt activities in Latin America, the extent of its illicit practices, the state of the various ongoing investigations into the company and its projects, and the web of corruption that continues to engulf some of the region's most powerful political elites. 

  • What LatAm Cities Can Learn From the Failures of Brazil's UPP Policing Model

    Elements of Rio de Janeiro's UPP

    Community policing has become the go-to security strategy in the Americas. But as the case of the Rio de Janeiro's "pacification" policing experiment shows, its impact has been limited and short-lived.

  • Why Police Reforms Rarely Succeed: Lessons From Latin America

    Riot police in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    As discussions about police reform abound throughout the Americas, Yanilda González, an assistant professor at theUniversity of Chicago, examines the implications of Latin America's experience with police reform efforts for future such initiatives.

  • Too Little Too Late? Bolivia, Brazil to Boost Efforts Against Criminal Migration

    Brazil's PCC may have up to 1,500 members in Bolivia

    Authorities in Bolivia and Brazil will enter into a bilateral agreement later this month aimed at combating the expansion of Brazilian criminal groups into Bolivia, but the move might prove to be a tardy and ultimately insufficient response to this phenomenon.

  • Brazil Chief Prosecutor Applauds Multilateral Anti-Corruption Cooperation

    Brazil's prosecutor general Rodrigo Janot at the Atlantic Council on July 19, 2017.

    Brazil's chief prosecutor highlighted the importance of international cooperation in ongoing probes of the biggest corruption cases in the country's history. But while multilateral exchanges of information and best practices have helped advance these investigations, they also may have some potential drawbacks.

  • Brazil Crime Groups Share Territorial Control in Bolivia: Minister

    Bolivian Interior Minister Carlos Romero

    Recent attacks in Bolivia attributed to Brazil's main criminal groups have led Bolivia's interior minister to believe that these organziations have divided territorial control of the Andean country among themselves. This seems to be yet further evidence of Brazilian criminal groups' continued international expansion.

Investigations

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Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

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  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

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Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

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In May 2011, a 26-year-old prison gang leader held 4,000 members of the Venezuelan security forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, at bay for weeks. Humiliated nationally and internationally, it pushed President Hugo Chávez into a different and disastrous approach to the prison system.

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

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