A PCC prison riot in Sao Paulo

Brazil's largest criminal organization is reportedly recruiting dissident FARC guerrillas in order to broaden its drug trafficking operations in the region, but the group will face several challenges if it is attempting to expand its presence in Colombia.  

Colombian Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas told the Wall Street Journal that the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC) is offering jobs to dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC). The PCC, a powerful prison gang established in Brazil in the early 1990s, is allegedly courting FARC dissidents in an effort to obtain heavy weapons and military training needed to fight against Brazil's armed forces, while also hoping to expand into Colombian territory, security experts told the Journal.

On Tuesday, January 31, Villegas met in Amazonian city of Manaus with Brazilian Defense Minister Raúl Jungmann. The agenda touched upon the peace treaty signed between the FARC and the Colombian government, and the growing threat that organized crime groups pose to the security of the two countries. The ministers have agreed to work together to eradicate transnational criminal organizations operating along their shared 1,600 kilometer border.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the PCC's efforts to recruit FARC soldiers are a sign that the group is trying to intensify its operations in Colombian territory, the gang's alleged plan will likely face a number of obstacles.

SEE ALSO: PCC News and Profile

First, Colombia's southeast border is highly competitive criminal territory. The PCC will likely confront other organized crime groups that are looking for ways to fill the power vacuum created by the FARC's demobilization. In fact, the Urabeños criminal organization have already reportedly begun offering FARC soldiers a salary of 1,800,000 Colombian pesos (approximately $600) to join their ranks, in an effort to take control of the guerrilla's drug trafficking and illegal mining businesses.

What's more, the PCC is not the only Brazilian group with connections to the FARC that may be looking to take advantage of the guerrilla demobilization. 

"The FARC’s principal commercial alliance in northern Brazil currently sits with Família do Norte (FDN), not PCC," Lloyd Belton, a political and country risk analyst at S-RM, told InSight Crime.  

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  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. The BACRIM's roots lie in the demobilized paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense...

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs, the MS13, is fighting amongst itself for control of the organization.

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork...

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power. In rural sectors, uniformed BACRIM armed with assault rifles still patrol in...

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...

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's prisons are a reflection of the multiple conflicts that have plagued the country for the last half-century. Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug trafficking groups have vied for control of the jails where they can continue to manage their operations on the outside. Instead of corralling these forces...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...