Lawless gangs on rampage in Brazil

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Nick Leeson Jr, May 16, 2006.

  1. Any comments South America??

    SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) - Masked men attacked bars, banks and police stations with machine guns. Gangs set buses on fire. And inmates at dozens of prisons took guards hostage in an unprecedented four-day wave of violence around South America's largest city that left more than 80 dead by Monday.

    President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva prepared to send in 4,000 federal troops, and officials worried the violence could spread 220 miles northeast to Rio de Janeiro, where police were put on high alert and extra patrols were dispatched to slums where drug gang leaders live.

    "What happened in Sao Paulo was a provocation, a show of force by organized crime," Silva said. He said the gangs'"tentacles are spread around the world and we must use a lot of intelligence" to quell the chaos their attacks caused.

    The violence was triggered by an attempt to isolate gang leaders, who control many of Sao Paulo's teeming, notoriously corrupt prisons, by transferring eight of them Thursday to a high-security facility hundreds of miles away from this city of 18 million people.

    The leaders of the First Capital Command gang, or PCC, reportedly used cell phones to order the attacks. Gang members began riddling police cars with bullets, hurling grenades at police stations and attacking officers in their homes and afterwork hangouts.

    Then, on Sunday night, the gang employed a new tactic: sending gunmen onto buses, ordering passengers and drivers off and torching the vehicles.

    Thousands of drivers refused to work Monday, leaving an estimated 2.9 million people scrambling to find a way to their jobs. While most stores and businesses remained open, almost all shut early, creating one of the city's worst traffic jams ever as workers struggled in vain to get home.

    Worried parents kept many children out of schools, and many businesses shut by 4 p.m. so workers could get home by dark. Sao Paulo's main stock exchange, the Bovespa, canceled after-hours trading to let investors and workers leave early.

    As two buses smoldered near his home in a working-class neighborhood, engineering student Julio Cesar said the violence left him with a choice of skipping classes and risking his future or going to his night college and fearing his family could get caught in the crossfire of evening attacks.

    "Of course I'm scared to take the bus, because now they are targeting people and not just police," said Cesar, 19. "I'm also scared to leave because my mom lives here."

    There was no mention of injuries in the nearly 50 reports of bus burnings.

    But 21 new killings were reported Sunday night and Monday morning, the state government of Sao Paulo said, putting the death toll at 81 - 39 police officers and prison guards, 38 suspected gang members and four civilians caught in 181 attacks since Friday.

    Prison officials said they do not know how many inmates have died in Sao Paulo's lockups because they were just retaking control of most of them. At least 91 people were arrested since Friday, police said.

    Sao Paulo's Roman Catholic archbishop, Claudio Hummes, said the government had not done enough to stop the violence.

    "Society cannot accept being held hostage by criminals," he said. "The state must improve the prison system to stop it from being a school for crime."

    The violence also weighed in on financial markets, helping to drive stocks down more than 2 percent as a perception took hold that Brazil is more risky than previously thought. The country's currency, the real, fell 2 percent against the U.S. dollar.

    The PCC was founded in 1993 in Sao Paulo's Taubate Penitentiary and became involved in drug and arms trafficking, kidnappings, bank robberies and extortion.

    It staged a massive prison uprising in 2001 in which 19 inmates died, and attacked more than 50 police stations in November 2003. Three officers and two suspected gang members were killed and 12 people injured in those attacks.

    On Monday, uprisings were still under way at two prisons in Sao Paulo state, with rebellions put down at 72 facilities.

    Inmates were holding 16 prison guards hostage - down from more than 200 earlier in the day - but had made no demands and were not believed to have seriously harmed any hostages, the Sao Paulo Prison Affairs Department said.

    In Mato Grosso do Sul state, which borders Sao Paulo, three prison riots were brought under control, but inmates still controlled another jail after killing a fellow prisoner.

    Gilson Adei, 35, driving one of the few buses in downtown Sao Paulo, demanded authorities lash back at the criminals.

    "It's absurd - the gang members can do whatever they want? They can just start a war? And why would they attack the transportation, normal people? Next it will be schools," he said. "We should get the military on every corner and kill them."
  2. Ricter


    What's the distribution of wealth like in Brazil anyway?
  3. jem


    Wheres our great SA when you need him. Look at him lecturing us about our "alleged" inablility to enforce our will in North Korea when Brazil can not enforce its will in it own North prison.

    Maybe will should get some cash ready. This could be the once a decade fire sail of Brazilian beach front properties as it devolves into lawlessness. I know a guy who picked up a multimillion dollar ipanema property for 400,000 american (only) dollars. He said if he waited a few days he may have gotten it for 100,000.
  4. .

    Nick Leeson Jr: Any comments South America??


    May 16, 2006

    SouthAmerica: Yes, what is happening in Sao Paulo in the last few days with these gangs specialized on the drug trade makes me very angry.

    In the last few years I started writing an article about crime in Brazil and how to defeat and eliminate all these criminal gangs specialized on the drug trade.

    I will up date and polish one of my articles that I never sent for actual publication – these criminals are really pissing me off – enough is enough and the Brazilian government should do what it takes to get rid of these guys.

    I remember when I was a young man and Brazil had the death squadron in Sao Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro. Every day they got rid off 2 or 3 criminals, but the Brazilian population did not care about the civil liberties of these guys because the majority of them had a rap sheet a mile long – the death squadron was not killing innocent people they were killing heavy duty criminals.

    Maybe it is time to reactivate the death squadron of the 1970’s to bring these guys in line.

    The more gang members they get ride off the better it is for the rest of the Brazilian population. They should do a major clean up not only in Sao Paulo but also in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian authorities can’t let these criminals get away with this kind of criminal behavior – the only way to deal with them is by killing as many of these criminal gang members as possible.

    We spoke on Sunday with members of my family who live in Sao Paulo and they told us that they were afraid of what was going on and that the gangs were going around completely out of control in Sao Paulo on their crime spree.


    “Brazil Cops Kill 33 Suspected Gang Members”
    By VIVIAN SEQUERA, Associated Press Writer
    AP – Associated Press – May 16, 2006

    SAO PAULO, Brazil - Police struck back Tuesday at gangs that rampaged through South America's largest city, killing 33 suspected gang members in less than 24 hours and frisking motorists at roadblocks while reporting only one death of their own. At least 133 people -- including 40 police officers -- have been killed since Friday night, when a prison transfer of gang leaders sparked attacks on police stations, courts, city buses and other symbols of government authority.

    But while gang attacks fell off sharply in Sao Paulo on Tuesday, the death toll within their ranks rose dramatically.

    Officers "acted within the law, but that doesn't mean we have to let them humiliate us," Marco Antonio Desgualdo, a top Sao Paulo state law enforcement official, told reporters. He did not give specifics about the killings.

    Separately, prison officials said the bodies of 18 inmates were found after police retook control of dozens of jails where prisoners rioted at the same time that gang members attacked officers across Sao Paulo.

    Details of how they died were not immediately disclosed. Inmates periodically use Brazilian prison uprisings to settle scores.

    The overall five-day death toll stood at 71 suspected criminals, 40 police officers and jail guards, the 18 prison inmates and four civilians caught in the crossfire.

    The crime spree showed the strength of organized crime in the financial and industrial heart of Brazil, and it sent fear rippling through the metropolis of 18 million.

    With guns drawn, plainclothes police in a Sao Paulo suburb stopped and frisked motorists in a hunt for more gang members.

    Police in Osasco, 10 miles from the center of Sao Paulo, were targeting motorcyclists with passengers for spot checks after one of their own was shot and killed by a gunman on the back of a bike, said Officer Vladimir Storel. The dead officer was the only policeman killed this year in the suburb of 1 million.

    "We're only out here because of the attacks," said Storel, surrounded by fellow policemen wielding pistols, shotguns and Uzi submachine guns.

    They patted down riders and checked IDs against a list of suspected gang members.

    Across Sao Paulo, police were redeployed in greater numbers to halt the attacks, and authorities said at least 115 people had been arrested since Friday night.

    But many citizens said the ferocity of the First Capital Command gang, or PCC, made them doubt law enforcement will ever solve the gang problem.

    Some Sao Paulo residents said they now fear being seen near police officers who could be targeted by attackers.

    "Now you get scared when you pass police," said bank manager Cleide Boeing, 45. "I trying to stay away from the police now."

    Using machine guns and grenades, gang members attacked dozens of police installations, burned scores of buses and vandalized 15 bank branches over the weekend. Inmates took over 73 prisons and held more than 200 guards hostage.

    Gang attacks finally ebbed Tuesday morning, but Sao Paulo residents said they were still stunned.

    "It's a civil war," said Manuela Nascimento, a 24-year-old newsstand worker. "Now I leave my house scared and go to work scared."

    In other South American countries like Venezuela, Peru and Paraguay, organized crime gangs keep a low profile as they smuggle drugs abroad.

    The PCC, however, has focused on the booming local drug trade in Sao Paulo, where recruits are easy to find in crime-ridden slums.

    The violence was triggered Thursday by an attempt to isolate the gang leaders — who control many of city's teeming, notoriously corrupt prisons — by transferring eight to a high-security facility.

    The gang leaders reportedly used cell phones to order the attacks.

    Sao Paulo's two leading newspapers reported Tuesday that authorities cut a deal with the gang to stop the attacks — claims Desgualdo strongly denied. He said strong police action had stifled the criminal attacks.

    But crime experts said such a deal sounded plausible, given the growing strength of the gang, which was formed in a prison in 1993 and expanded to between 10,000 and 30,000 members as Brazil became the second-largest cocaine-consuming nation after the United States.

    "I am sure that despite official denials, authorities negotiated an end to the uprisings and attacks," said Walter Fanganiello Maierovitch, Brazil's former drug czar.

    Sao Paulo appeared to be returning to normal Tuesday morning. There were only a few reported attacks Monday night and Tuesday, compared to 181 over the previous four days.

    Bus service was fully restored after panicked drivers stayed home Monday over fears they might be attacked, leaving 2.9 million people scrambling to find a way to work.

    At the roadblock in Osasco, housewife and law school student Marcia Barros waited patiently with her pink motorcycle helmet in hand as police frisked her husband against a wall.

    "There's no way of knowing what's going to happen now, and that's what scares us," said Barros, 33.

    Associated Press Writers Alan Clendenning, Stan Lehman and Alexander V. Ragir contributed to this report.

  5. Well sure, I suppose the government could go around assassinating its own citizens... or how about just ending prohibition instead? Decriminalize all victimless activity, and see how fast the 'drug-crime' evaporates...

    <b>A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.

    ~Abraham Lincoln
  6. jem


    Quote from SA

    I will up date and polish one of my articles that I never sent for actual publication – these criminals are really pissing me off – enough is enough and the Brazilian government should do what it takes to get rid of these guys.

    I remember when I was a young man and Brazil had the death squadron in Sao Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro. Every day they got rid off 2 or 3 criminals, but the Brazilian population did not care about the civil liberties of these guys because the majority of them had a rap sheet a mile long – the death squadron was not killing innocent people they were killing heavy duty criminals.

    I find it interesting that SA advocates ultra vires death squads which by definition violate international laws and conventions. (you said yourself civil liberities are ignored). Yet, SA has issues with the United States acting in conjunction with other countries and sometimes the UN to eliminate terrorist and nuclear threats. Perhaps the world is not so binary afterall. I think it may be time to reconsider your bombastic essays.

    Perhaps Brazil should cease wasting money hitching rides into space and spend a little more money on homeland security and anti corruption capabilities. By the way I am sure George Bush will lend a helping hand when asked. However, it seems you advocate more of a Red China approach. I am beginning to understand why you are so proud of your countries recent ties to China. By the way what is the name of your biggest Square?