Brazil’s largest criminal organization has almost 10,000 members - including 6,000 behind bars - and annual revenues of roughly $54.8 million, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper said Friday, citing a report from prosecutors.
The information on the First Command of the Capital, or PCC, was compiled by the organized crime unit of the Sao Paulo state Attorney General’s Office.
The document draws heavily on intercepted telephone conversations between reputed PCC boss Marco Camacho, a.k.a. “Marcola,” and his subordinates.
Blamed for a May 2006 reign of terror in Sao Paulo that left almost 300 people dead, the PCC has a presence in 22 of Brazil’s 27 states as well as “international bases” in neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay, O Estado said.
Most of the PCC’s estimated 120 million reais ($54.8 million) in annual earnings comes from the trade in illegal drugs, though the group also has interests in illegal gambling and extortion.
An internal census found the PCC with 6,000 members in prison and 3,582 at large, according to the report from the Sao Paulo AG’s office.
In one phone conversation, Marcola, himself locked up, tells a subordinate that the PCC had succeeded in eliminating the use of crack cocaine inside Sao Paulo’s prisons.
He also said the PCC was behind a reduction of violent crime in Sao Paulo state.
“A death sentence has to be confirmed by a command tribunal. To kill someone today, it requires a bureaucratic process. So it was the PCC that reduced crime and brought down the murders, but I see the (state) governor (Geraldo Alckmin) saying that it was he who did it,” Marcola said.
Brazilian media have speculated that the PCC was behind the deaths of four suspects in the recent murder of a 5-year-old Bolivian child during a robbery.
The assailants were ordered killed because the violated the PCC’s code of conduct and because Marcola is the son of a Bolivian immigrant, according to those media accounts.
Marcola and his associates also discussed plans for prison breaks and attacks on police, according to the report from prosecutors, who recommended that 32 PCC leadership figures now held at Presidente Venceslau penitentiary be placed in isolation.