Primeiro Comando da Capital

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Primeiro Comando do Capital
Founded 1993
Founding location Taubaté prison, São Paulo, Brazil
Years active 1993-present
Criminal activities Murder, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, extortion, prison riots, prison breaks, kidnapping, highway robbery activities

Primeiro Comando da Capital, or PCC ("First Command of the Capital", Portuguese pronunciation: [pɾiˈmejɾu koˈmɐ̃du da kapiˈtaw]), is, according to a 2012 Brazilian Government report, the largest Brazilian criminal organization[1] with a membership of 13,000 members, 6,000 of whom are in prison. [2]

The criminal organization based largely in the state of São Paulo and is active in at least 22 of the country's 27 states, as well as in Paraguay and Bolivia.[3] Since its inception, PCC has been responsible for several criminal activities such as prison breaks, prison riots, drug trafficking and highway robbery. The name refers to the state capital, city of São Paulo.

In 2012 a wave of violence in Sao Paulo killed upwards of 100 people including many police officers allegedly following the breakdown of an informal truce between the gang and the police. [4]

History[edit]

The PCC was founded on August 31, 1993, by eight prisoners at Taubaté Penitentiary, called Piranhão (Big Piranha) in the state of São Paulo. At the time this was the safest jail in the state.

The group got together during a soccer game. When prisoners were transferred from the city of São Paulo to the Piranhão as punishment for bad behavior, they decided to name their football team the Capital Command.

The initial members were Misael "Misa" Aparecido da Silva, Wander Eduardo "Cara Gorda" (Fat Face) Ferreira, Antônio Carlos Roberto da Paixão, Isaías "Esquisito" (Weird) Moreira do Nascimento, Ademar "Dafé" dos Santos, Antônio "Bicho Feio" (Ugly Beast) Carlos dos Santos, César "Césinha" (Little César) Augusto Roris da Silva and José "Geleião" (Big Jelly) Márcio Felício.

PCC, which was also formerly referred to as the Party of Crime, and as 15.3.3 (following the order of the letters "P" and "C" in the former Brazilian alphabet), was founded with a clear political agenda, aiming to "fight the oppression inside the São Paulo penitentiary system" and to "avenge the death of 111 prisoners," victims of the October 2, 1992 Carandiru massacre, when the São Paulo State Military Police stormed the now-extinct Casa de Detenção (a very large prison) and killed prisoners from its 9th pavilion in the process.

The group made use of the Chinese taititu ("yin yang") symbol as their emblem, saying it represented "a way to balance good and evil with wisdom." In February 2001, Idemir "Sombra" (Shadow) Carlos Ambrósio became the most prominent leader of the organization when he coordinated, by cell phone, simultaneous rebellions in 29 São Paulo state prisons, in which 16 prisoners were killed. "Sombra," also referred to as "father," was beaten to death on the Piranhão five months later by five members of the criminal faction in an internal struggle for the general command of the PCC. The PCC was led by "Geleião" and "Cesinha," responsible for the alliance with another criminal organization, Rio de Janeiro's Comando Vermelho.

São Paulo's military Police (Polícia Militar) is the main target of the attacks.

Geleião and Cesinha, from the Bangú Penitentiary where they were held, went on to coordinate violent attacks against public buildings. Considered radicals by another moderate current of the PCC, they used terrorism to intimidate authorities of the prison system and were withdrawn from leadership in November 2002, when the leadership was taken by the current leader of the organization Marcos "Marcola" Willians Herbas Camacho. After he took over, the organization put a death bounty on Geleião and Cesinha, on the counts of having testified to the police and creating the Terceiro Comando da Capital (Third Capital Command, TCC).

Under the leadership of Marcola, also known as "Playboy," currently detained for bank robbery, the PCC took part in the March 2003 murder of Judge Antônio José Machado Dias, who ran the Penitentiary Readaptation Center (CRP) from Presidente Bernardes, São Paulo, currently Brazil's most strict supermax-style prison. The PCC also announced its objective to use prison uprisings as a way to demoralize the government and to destroy the CRP.

The organization is partly funded by its members, called "brothers." They are required to pay a monthly fee of R$50.00 (about US $27) while in prison, or R$500.00 (about US $270) if they are outside of it. The money is used to buy weapons and drugs, and also to finance operations to bail out prisoners connected to the organization. In order to become a member of the PCC, the prospective member needs to be formally introduced by another regular member, taking an oath to follow its 16-clause statute.

May 2006 attacks[edit]

Since the beginning of Friday May 12, 2006 there have been 299 attacks against public establishments such as police stations, justice forums, buses, etc.; which are allegedly organized by the PCC. The violence represents the bloodiest assault of its kind in the history of Brazil's richest state, São Paulo. The attacks have apparently been organized by gang members in prison via cell phone.[5]

July 2006 attacks[edit]

2012 attacks[edit]

By the end of 2012, another wave of attacks against the police began. The cause was apparently an announcement made by PCC leaders and spread to gang members outside jail. According to the message, called "Salve Geral", the organization was suffering losses allegedly caused by coward murdering of gang members by the São Paulo State police, and thereby, for each member killed by the police, one officer of the same corporation that caused it had to be murdered.

Then, during about thirty days, every day one or two policemen were killed, mostly in defenseless circunstances, such as resting, on vacation, or even retired officers. Many policemen were murdered in front of family or friends, usually when arriving or leaving their homes. After the crime, co-workers of the victim went to the neighborhood's drug hotspots, shooting suspicious people there in order to avenge their dead colleague. During those days, the city usually woke up with near a dozen casualties the night before.

By December, the killings started to decrease and ceased with no known reason.

2013 Activity[edit]

Even though no more attacks have happened, police reports point out that behind the scenes PCC is getting stronger and bigger. They are already operating in almost every Brazilian State, and commanding minor gangs in those places. International activity, in other countries of South America, is also taking place. The reports also show that other uprisings were planned, but taken down by the State police. They also plan on running elections for the Congress, and have planned attacks to the Governor of the State of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, who's been working hard to dismantle the gang.

Reports by the end of 2013 show that PCC's influence has reached Rio de Janeiro and they have taken control of the factions that command the city's drug market. The factions Comando Vermelho (Red Command), Amigos dos Amigos (Friends of the Friends) and Terceiro Comando (Third Command) are now ruled by PCC, whose order has been to stop fights between the factions, and increase the crack market, as that drug's selling was not well seen by Rio's gangs.

The Statute[edit]

The Primeiro Comando da Capital has a statute with various rules for the criminal organization. Disobeying the rules, says the statute, carries a penalty of death. On May 16, 2006 a couple was arrested with a copy of the statute.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brazil crime gang has spread through most of country, By AFP, PublishedSunday, November 25, 2012, http://www.emirates247.com/brazil-crime-gang-has-spread-through-most-of-country-2012-11-25-1.484727
  2. ^ Brazil crime gang has spread through most of country, By AFP, PublishedSunday, November 25, 2012, http://www.emirates247.com/brazil-crime-gang-has-spread-through-most-of-country-2012-11-25-1.484727
  3. ^ Brazil crime gang has spread through most of country, By AFP, PublishedSunday, November 25, 2012, http://www.emirates247.com/brazil-crime-gang-has-spread-through-most-of-country-2012-11-25-1.484727
  4. ^ Threat of new police, gang war loom over Sao Paulo after informal truce appears to collapse, Published November 15, 2012, Associated Press, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/11/15/threat-new-police-gang-war-loom-over-sao-paulo-after-informal-truce-appears-to/#ixzz2bOOBvCJA
  5. ^ Brazil prison guards nab pigeon with cell phone
  6. ^ Couple were arrested with a copy of the statute - Folha de São Paulo.

External links[edit]