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Brazil is witnessing a “tussle for the Amazon”—a new and deadly phase in the history of its organized crime groups and their operations. While the country is no stranger to violent criminal organizations, recent years have seen groups building increasingly sophisticated networks, both within and beyond Brazil’s borders. In the strategic state of Amazonas, these developments have sparked a power struggle between several of the country’s largest criminal organizations that has concerning implications for the stability of Brazil as a whole. This “tussle” is more than a mere clash between Brazil’s transnational organized crime groups. It is a threat to regional stability and imperils neighboring Latin American countries. Appreciating the Amazon region’s current role in the dynamics of Brazil’s criminal underworld is the first step toward deliberate, informed action by the United States and Brazil against a shifting criminal environment.

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Florida International University


International Relations

Tussle for the Amazon: New Frontiers in Brazil's Organized Crime Landscape



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