Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime

Red Command News

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 about the presence of certain criminal groups in the country and how authorities managed to thwart the...

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...

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...

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...