Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime

Red Command News

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 about why the Brazilian mafia is amassing arms in the border...

Turf Dispute Breaks North Brazil Gang Pact, Opening Door for PCC

Two of Brazil’s most important criminal groups have ended a three-year truce and are now fighting for control over a strategic drug trafficking route in the northern Amazon...

GameChangers 2017: Government and Gangs Battle for Brazil

A new war between Brazil’s two biggest crime groups has contributed to escalating violence across the country, which...

Arrest of Rio Drug Kingpin Unlikely to Break Gang Control

One of Rio’s most wanted drug kingpins has been arrested in a massive security operation, raising questions about...

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...