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Urban Gangs: Brazilian Case Study

Urban Gangs: Brazilian Case Study

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Urban Gangs: Brazilian Case Study

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  1. Urban Gangs: Brazilian Case Study

  2. Crime in Brazil: Statistics • One of the highest crime rates in Latin America • Five Brazilian cities rank among the 15 most violent in Latin America • Murder rate in comparative perspective (2004) Brazil = 26.9/100,000 United States = 5.5/100,000 • Overcrowding and dire prison conditions • Prison population (360,000) 4th in world • Posing a wider threat to public safety? • Brazil comes in 2nd in highest gun-related deaths

  3. Socio-economic Causes of Brazil’s high rate of crime? • Unequal income distribution combined with widespread poverty • Out of population of 190 million, roughly 50 million live in poverty • Poverty in favelas • Social deprivation • 75% of country’s municipalities have no cultural or leisure facilities • 96% have no cinemas • 86% have no theater • 25% have no library

  4. Characteristics of urban crime • Street crime remains a major problem for visitors and local residents alike • Majority of crimes are not solved • Foreign tourists are often targeted • Rio de Janeiro • Salvador • Gold Coast of Sao Paulo

  5. More on Crime in Urban Brazil • Robbery and “quicknapping” outside of banks and ATMs common • Theft on city buses • Carjacking • Corrupt policeman • Inter-city roads widely recognized among the most dangerous in the world

  6. Shantytown Gangs: the premier institution in urban crime • Gangs in the favelas • Function like “statelets” (mini-states) • Exercise of political power in statelets – arbitrary • Drugs – common source of wealth/power • not patrolled by police • Prison gangs • Do criminals run the country’s prison system • Overcrowded prisons

  7. Gang Recruitment • Target young children- 8 yrs old to teens • Get out of jail sooner because minor • Three main jobs • Look-outs • Dealers • Soldiers • 7 days a week, 10 hours a day

  8. Why join a gang? • Gain status (levels of inequality high in Brazilian cities) • Social, physical and economical • Feeling of empowerment • Sense of identity and belonging • Money • Protection

  9. Major Gangs and Organized Crime: Brazil • Five major gangs in Brazil • Red Command CV • First Capital Command PCC • Pure Third Command • Amigos dos Amigos • Capixaba Mafia

  10. Comando Vermelho (CV, Red Command) • Largest and oldest organized gang in Brazil • Established in Rio de Janeiro in 1970's • Major trafficker of weapons and drugs • Began as a gang in Cândido Mendes prison • Had very strict code of conduct for members • Punishments (such as death) for violators • Maintain control this way

  11. The favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where the Red Commandis prevalent in drug trade

  12. Comando Vermelho (CV, Red Command) • Originally composed of members of the Falange Vermelha (Red Phalanx) • This militant group was strong in it’s fight against the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964 to 1985) • Urban areas known as territory of the Red Command are tagged with the letters “CV”

  13. Primeiro Comando da Capital(PCC, First Capital Command) • Founded August 31, 1993 • In Taubate Prison in Sao Paulo • Group of eight prisoners initially • Has grown into a major threat to Sao Paulo and region

  14. Primeiro Comando da Capital(PCC, First Capital Command) • Began as prison gang, but transformed into a terrorist criminal organization • Members utilize a “baptism” ritual as means of induction into the gang, similar to the Mafia organizations within the U.S. • Goals of the PCC were outlined in the group's sixteen point manifesto written in 1993 • To fight injustice and oppression in the prison system • To maintain strict discipline among members • To expand beyond Sao Paulo prisons to national spotlight

  15. Sao Paulo, the home of the PCC PCC Motto is “for liberty, justice and peace”

  16. Terceiro Comando Puro (TCP, Pure Third Command) • Originally founded by dissidents of the Red Command, therefore these two gangs are major rivals • Fighting between gangs often occurs for supremacy in the slums and throughout the extensive prison system in Brazil • 360,000 prisoners (4th largest in the world) • 922 prisons

  17. Amigos dos Amigos (ADA, Friends of Friends) • Grew out of conflict between the Red Command and the Pure Third Command • Controls North and West zones of Rio de Janeiro (Rocinha) • Drugs critical source of power & wealth

  18. Capixaba Mafia • Criminal organization from the Espírito Santo state of Brazil • A person born in this state is known as a “Capixaba” which literally translates to “Holy Spirit” • Specializes generally in money-laundering endeavors

  19. Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC)  Interaction with the Government

  20. How Powerful is the PCC? -According to the Financial Times from 2002-2006 the PCC’s membership increased to an estimated 90 per cent of inmates in São Paulo state prisons, or about 125,000 prisoners and roughly 10,000 at liberty. -From May 12-16, 2006 the PCC orders rebellions in São Paulo state prisons and attacks on security forces in the state capital. -Reporter Dante Rodrigues made contact with Orlando Mota Junior, known as Macarrão, the imprisoned leader of the PCC, that orchestrated the riots and attacks. - Macarrão, WAS ON A CELL PHONE FROM PRISON!!!

  21. May, 2006: attacks showcased the complex problem of gang related violence, and deeply disturbed Sao Paulo. Gang leaders get cell phones by bribing guards Run criminal activities and issue orders from the safety of their cells

  22. Efforts to Control the Gangs • Attempts to re-shuffle prisoners so as to disrupt gang activity (ineffective - led to the 05/06 riots • Incarcerated known PCC members (increased its membership and further pressured the Sao Paulo state prison system) • Federal government has been unable to fruitfully invest in the overcrowded state prison systems.

  23. To what extent is the Brazilian state influenced by the power of the PCC? • “Walter Maierovitch, a former senior security official in Brazil, says the state’s haulting efforts to demonstrate to the public the PCC is “under control” have actually increased the power of the organization. Financial Times

  24. FINANCIAL TIMES TRANSCRIPT OF PCC LEADER INTERVIEW • RADIO RECORD: So the PCC doesn’t plan any more attacks in the state for the time being? • MACARRÃO: Not for the time being or until further orders, understand? • RADIO RECORD: And was there any negotiation with the [state] government? • MACARRÃO: There was, there was, there was, there was, there was. Time in the open air was OK’d, and the lawyers. • RADIO RECORD: And what did the government do, what did the government promise you so that there wouldn’t be any more attacks, Macarrão? • MACARRÃO: We’re to be allowed out of our cells to the open areas, and visits from lawyers

  25. One picture is worth a thousand words

  26. President DilmaRousseff • Elected in 2010 • Stated that she would fix the security problem associated with urban gangs • Rio de Janeiro’s hosting of World Cup and Olympics has focused attention on that city’s gangs • Electoral politics continues to play a role on policy to contain gang influence