Some time ago, I wrote about the relationship between the massacre of Carandiru and the rising of the PCC (First Command of the Capital).
Briefly, after a Sao Paulo’s police action that resulted in the deaths of 111 prisoners (according to official data), a group of dangerous criminals in 1993 (which was jailed in the Taubaté’s prison) began what would be the largest and most feared criminal organization in Brazil, the PCC.
Policeman watching a bus burning
First, it started to control the prisons in Sao Paulo state, and then spread itself to other Brazilian states. But the biggest demonstration of its force was in 2006 when the PCC attacked the police simultaneously across Sao Paulo state, in an unprecedented wave of violence in Brazil. 373 attacks terrorized the population of Sao Paulo, although the targets were agents of public safety.
Faria Lima avenue – one of the most important avenues in Sao Paulo empty because of the attacks
One of the reasons that may explain why this group is so strong is its organization. The members of the PCC follow a statute that is strictly implemented.
Below is the statute, without changes. One observation must be done: they refer to the group as “Party.”
1. Loyalty, respect, solidarity, and above all, to the Party;
2. The fight for freedom, justice, and peace;
3. The union’s fight against injustice and oppression inside prisons;
4. The contribution of those who are in liberty with the brothers inside the prisons through lawyers, money, aid to families, and rescue action;
5. The respect and solidarity to all members of the Party, to avoid internal conflicts, because that which causes internal conflict within the party, trying to divide the brotherhood, will be excluded and rejected by the Party;
6. Never use the Party to resolve personal conflicts against people from outside. Because the idea of the personal conflict is over. But the Party will always be loyal and offer solidarity to all its members so that the members will not suffer any inequality or injustice in external conflicts;
7. Whoever is not in jail and has funds, but forgets to contribute to the brothers who are in jail, will be sentenced to death without forgiveness;
8. The members of the Party must give good example to be followed and, therefore, the Party does not tolerate robbery, rape, and extortion inside the system;
9. The party does not accept lies, betrayal, jealousy, greed, slander, selfishness, and personal interest, but rather: truth, loyalty, manhood, solidarity, and interest in the welfare of all, because we are one for all and all for one;
10.. All members have to respect the order and discipline of the Party. Each one will receive according to what we consider for merit. Everyone’s opinion will be heard and respected, but the final decision will be from the Founders of the Party;
11. The First Command of the Capital founded in 1993 represents a phenomenal and tireless struggle against oppression and injustices from the concentration camp that is the House of Custody and Treatment of Taubaté, and addresses absolute freedom, justice and peace;
12. The party does not allow internal rivalries, and competition for the power of the Leadership Command, as each of the Commands knows the function and falls in line with its capacity to exercise it;
13. We must remain united and organized to prevent another massacre similar to or worse than what occurred in the House of Detention in 02 October 1992 where 111 prisoners were brutally murdered. This massacre will never be forgotten in the consciousness of Brazilian society. Because the Command is changing the prison practice that is inhuman, full of injustice, oppression, torture, and massacres inside prisons;
14. The priority is for the Command to convince the governor of the state to dismantle that concentration camp attached to the House of Custody and Treatment of Taubaté, from which emerged the seed and the roots of the Command because of so many struggles and intense atrocious suffering of prisoners;
15. From the Central Command of the Capital, the HQ, the guidelines are set on actions held simultaneously in all penal establishments of the state, a war without truce, without border, until the final victory;
16. The important thing is that nobody will stop us in this struggle because we have the seed of the Command in all of the state prison system and have succeeded in structuring also on the outside, with many sacrifices and many irreparable losses, and we have also consolidated at the state level and we will consolidate further on medium and long term at the national level. In coalition with the Red Command (CV- PCC), we will revolutionize the country within the prisons, and our armed wing will be the terror to the powerful oppressors and tyrants who use the Annex I of Taubaté and Bangu in Rio de Janeiro as an instrument of revenge as they regard prisons to manufacture monsters.
It is interesting to note some aspects in that speech: “fight for freedom, justice and peace,” “phenomenal and tireless struggle against oppression and injustices,” “contribute to the brothers,” and “PCC will revolutionize the country within the prisons.” In addition to a left-wing populist speech (what would Karl Marx say if he saw that his “Manifesto” would be used that way?), we find that the intentions of this group are obvious: to be the greatest strength of organized crime in Brazil.
The nationalization of the PCC is already a reality.
The only group that could compete with Sao Paulo’s PCC would be the Red Command, but the relationship of co-dependence between these two groups is much more favorable to the PCC, because this group controls the routes of cocaine trafficking in Brazil.
Banks were attacked by PCC members.
And the ambition is not only confined in Brazil.
Gradually, the group is spreading internationally. For the last 15 years, the FARC has no longer been a rebel group but a narcoterrorist group. Now that the FARC is very weak, if not dead, the PCC has the opportunity to fill up the vacuum left by the Colombians. Perhaps…
PS: I have to thank Grace for her help and collaboration in this article.