The Rise of the PCC: How South America's Most Powerful Prison Gang is Spreading in Brazil and Beyond

66 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2020

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InSight Crime

affiliation not provided to SSRN

CLALS (American University) RPS Submitter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 2020

Abstract

Over the past thirty years, the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) has emerged as one of the most powerful criminal organizations in South America. From its founding in São Paulo’s prison system, it has spread rapidly across southern Brazil, contested trafficking routes in Brazil’s northern and northeastern regions, and become a potent force in Paraguay. Drawing on a variety of case studies developed from research in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, the report describes the origins of the PCC, its unique model of organization, and its ability to regulate criminal markets in the areas it controls. The report analyzes the forces that have facilitated the PCC’s rise and expansion, as well as the constraints to its further spread, including increased law enforcement, the rise of rival organizations, and the organizational challenges of expansion. We conclude that although the PCC is facing unprecedented challenges, the organization is resilient to many law enforcement pressures, and the PCC “model” of criminal organization is increasingly being emulated by other criminal groups in the region.

Keywords: PCC, transnational organized crime, drug traffick, criminal organization

Suggested Citation

Crime, InSight and RPS Submitter, CLALS (American University), The Rise of the PCC: How South America's Most Powerful Prison Gang is Spreading in Brazil and Beyond (December 2020). CLALS Working Paper Series #30 (December 2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3747122 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3747122

InSight Crime (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

CLALS (American University) RPS Submitter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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