New Attacks by Criminal Gangs in Brazil

By Dialogo
February 07, 2013

The Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, located in the country’s south, faces new attacks by a criminal gang known as First Capital Group (PCG), who targeted over 18 districts by setting vehicles on fire and attacking public buildings, resulting in several injuries. These criminal acts, ordered from inside the penitentiary where the PCG leaders are incarcerated, are changing the daily lives of the population by imposing an unofficial curfew, leading to fear and concern.

The incidents are similar to what occurred in São Paulo, which was sponsored by the PCC in 2012, and lasted approximately six months, killing over 300 people, mostly Military Police. The similarities suggest that they all originated from the same manual, a national doctrine to confront the society adopted by criminal organizations based in city of São Paulo. The actions have the same motivation: the transfer of inmates, how they are treated by state agents, and the terrible conditions inside Brazilian penitentiaries.

This latest incident happened days after footage of the inside of a penitentiary in the city of Joinvile, where prison guards or police officers were attacking restrained inmates with blank bullets and tear gas was released on the Internet.

Acts of this nature have been increasingly performed by different gangs over the past six years, in several states such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and now Santa Catarina, creating the population to become restless, as well as causing major economic losses.

The biggest anomaly of this violent scenario is that the perpetrators are arrested and returned to the criminal “headquarters,” where the orders and the planning for the attacks originated.

*André Luís Woloszyn, Strategic Affairs Analyst