Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime

Red Command News

Brazil has some of the largest prison populations in the world

‘Volunteer’ Inmate Program Highlights Brazil Prison Crisis

A so-called voluntary work program in Rio de Janeiro prisons has highlighted long-term problems within Brazil’s crumbling penitentiary system, a breeding ground for some of the most powerful crime groups in Latin...

Ceará Gang Truce Shows Brazil Government Could Be Common Enemy

The northern state of Ceará in Brazil has become a battlefield after government plans to clamp down on...

Paraguay Authorities Foil New Plan to Free Red Command Leader

Authorities in Paraguay have foiled, for the second time in a month, an attempt to free a Brazilian drug trafficker imprisoned in the Southern Cone nation, raising fresh questions...

Red Command Arrests in Bolivia Point to Group’s Likely Expansion

Police in Bolivia have captured three alleged members of one of Brazil's most powerful criminal groups after a brazen armed assault on a military base, raising urgent questions...

Red Command Profile

Graffiti bearing the Red Command's initials

Red Command

The Red Command (Comando Vermelho) is Brazil’s oldest criminal group, created in a Rio de Janeiro prison in the 1970s as a self-protection group for prisoners. It started out with low-level crimes like muggings and bank robberies, but in the 1980s the group moved into the cocaine trade, working with Colombian drug cartels and taking on a social leadership role in many of Rio’s marginalized...