Criminals Organize Murders from Prison in São Paulo

By Dialogo
November 07, 2012

A criminal organization that operates from prison, known as “First Capital Command” (PCC) is behind the current wave of homicides against police and military forces in São Paulo, according to experts.

About 100 police officers, including 90 Military Police, have been targeted for homicides this year in the state of São Paulo, especially in the metropolitan area. A total of 41 have been executed, according to authorities.

On the night of September 3, a 44-year-old police officer was executed with 10 shots in the back as she was getting out of the car outside her house, with her 11-year-old daughterwatching, the Secretary of State Security told AFP.

Many of the police officers’ deaths have been followed by indiscriminate killings of drug trafficking or theft suspects, in what, according to their families, are acts of retaliation by the Military Police.

“I think that the PCC is responsible for the attacks against the Military Police,” Camila Días, an expert at the University of São Paulo’s Nucleus for the Study of Violence, told AFP.

“However, some police groups are also involved in retaliation attacks,” she added.

In September, the homicide rate in São Paulo’s metropolitan area increased to 144, up 27% when compared to August. In the same month, 71 homicides took place, and during the three-day weekend, deaths increased by 26, including a 10-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bullet fired by a police officer.

On September 3, a drug trafficking suspect was killed by Police when he refused to pull over his car on an avenue in São Paulo.

The local press identified him as a drug lord from the Paraisópolis favela, in southern São Paulo, which was occupied by 600 heavily armed police officers a week ago, after receiving a tip that a local leader had ordered the death of police officers.

Ferreira Pinto said that the order to kill police officers came from local favela leader Francisco Antonio Cesario da Silva, aka Piauí, who was arrested in August.

Días indicated that gangs dominate organized crime in São Paulo by controlling drug and weapons trafficking, as well as bank thefts.

Gang leaders seem to be planning the attacks from their cells, stated the expert. Días also regretted the violent tactics applied by the Military Police, and she added that violence against criminal suspects just worsens the situation and generates retaliation.

Last week, the violence caused President Dilma Rousseff to provide federal aid to the state of São Paulo.