Title

The Rise of the PCC: How South America’s Most Powerful Prison Gang is Spreading in Brazil and Beyond

Date of Publication

2020 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Transnational Organized Crime

Keywords

Organized Crime, PCC, Brazil, Gangviolence, gang activities, Criminal economy, police, smuggling

Description

The PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital, or First Capital Command) may be the world’s most successful prison gang, having grown in less than three decades into a transnational criminal organization (TCO). Since its founding in 1993, the PCC has expanded to as many as 30,000 members, dominating criminal markets in six Brazilian states with a combined population of more than 76 million. Much of this growth has taken place since 2015, as the group moved into new territories, contributing to convulsions of violence in entire regions of northern Brazil. During this period, the PCC has also expanded into neighboring Paraguay and built connections to criminal markets across South America and into the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.This report analyzes the phenomenon of the PCC and the factors that have enabled its rise and spread. It is the result of a research project by the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University and InSight Crime. Together, they completed a multi-disciplinary study: Mapping Transnational Organized Crime in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

The Rise of the PCC: How South America’s Most Powerful Prison Gang is Spreading in Brazil and Beyond

The PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital, or First Capital Command) may be the world’s most successful prison gang, having grown in less than three decades into a transnational criminal organization (TCO). Since its founding in 1993, the PCC has expanded to as many as 30,000 members, dominating criminal markets in six Brazilian states with a combined population of more than 76 million. Much of this growth has taken place since 2015, as the group moved into new territories, contributing to convulsions of violence in entire regions of northern Brazil. During this period, the PCC has also expanded into neighboring Paraguay and built connections to criminal markets across South America and into the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.This report analyzes the phenomenon of the PCC and the factors that have enabled its rise and spread. It is the result of a research project by the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University and InSight Crime. Together, they completed a multi-disciplinary study: Mapping Transnational Organized Crime in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.