Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 9: Concerns About Potential Gang (PCC-Primeiro Comando da Capital & CV-Comando Vermelho) Influence on Upcoming Brazilian Elections

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Small Wars Journal


Brazil’s gangs are challenging the state and each other in a contest for power. The powerful Primeiro Comando da Capital (First Command of the Capital or PCC) is at war with the Comando Vermelho (Red Command or CV) and its allies for control of the nation’s prisons, favelas, and lucrative criminal enterprises—including drug trafficking. As part of this deadly competition, the gangs are alleged to wield corrupt influence over politics—funding elections and bribing political officials. In the latest accusations, Wálter Maierovitch, a retired São Paulo judge and mafia scholar, raises concerns that the PCC is infiltrating political processes to elude state interference. He is concerned that this mafia-or narco-politics (narcopolitica) will extend to interference in Brazil’s upcoming national elections in October.