Violence in São Paulo
By Dialogo November 26, 2012
The outbreak of violence in the state of São Paulo, sponsored by a criminal organization known as First Capital Command (PCC), that is associated with drug trafficking, continues to cause panic among the population and tension between members of the local police force. Ninety-three security agents have been killed since the organization started to retaliate for the arrest and death of criminals by the military police. The number of civilians that were killed doubled when compared to the same period last year. In only fifteen days, 142 deaths were recorded, some due to confrontation with the police, while the other circumstances remain uncertain.
The criminal attacks strike various parts of the metropolitan region, while driving motorcycles, a tactic similar to what is used by American gangs. Over twenty buses were set on fire using Molotov cocktail bombs.
Federal and the local governments are studying solutions together to put an end to the conflict. One of the actions already implemented was the transfer of the PCC leaders to separate maximum security facilities, which operate under different disciplinary regimens. The PCC is currently the largest criminal organization in Brazil, with approximately 70,000 members and connections in many states. They have initiated prior crises, such as what happened in 2006, when the fourth largest city in the world was partially paralyzed by the shutdown of schools and retail businesses, as well as the interruption of the public transportation system.
*André Luís Woloszyn – Strategic Affairs Analyst