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The PCC-PM Wars, Redux?

PCC grafitto: 15-3-3 for the numerical order of the letters in the group's trademark

Is police violence on the rise or does it continue to trend downward, here is São Paulo?

It depends on who you ask. The Rashomon effect applies.

I will translate a recent report by EDSON MEDEIROS, with additional reporting by Marcelo Godoy.

Edson I cannot immediately place, but Godoy I know as a hard-working and gutsy police beat reporter for the Estado de S. Paulo, unafraid to report on death squads, militias and the like.

Federal government sees clashes between ROTA and the PCC as cause of escalating violence.

Revenge-taking against São Paulo military police shock battalion and ROTA is behind the crisis in public safety; state public safety secretary rebuts findings of DefesaNet.

The federal government’s public safety monitor has issued an alert for São Paulo because of recent activity by the PCC. A special report prepared by ABIN — the national intelligence agency — for the Institutional Security Group (GSI), which advises the president, found that the situation has gone from bad to worse in recent months as the PCC responds to actions by ROTA. The governor of São Paulo denies this version of events.

Threatened with a police offensive, the PCC reportedly ordered the application of the so-called “Clause 18”: “Life for life and blood for blood.” For every faction member killed, a policeman must die.  The death of military police private André Peres de Carvalho of São Paulo’s ROTA battalion, was reportedly hailed by the PCC as a “victory.” It was the first time the PCC had succeed in targeting ROTA.

The PCC’s death toll also includes includes the execution of Florisvaldo de Oliveira, 53, aka «Corporal Bruno», on the same day, in inland São Paulo state. Leader of a death squad in the 1980s, Oliveira had been released 34 days prior to his murder and was said to be regarded as a symbol by the PCC.

Bruno served 27 years for his involvement in a death squad that murdered at least 50 persons. Are we to understand that he was a symbol of police brutality in the eyes of the PCC?

ABIN intelligence shows that the criminal faction has grown stronger in the past six years, despite the relative “peace” that has held since the May 2006 PCC-PM wars.

Even with its leaders behind bars, the PCC has reorganized itself.  Recently, however, ROTA initiated an intelligence operation of its own that has begun to get close to the PCC. Intelligence attributed to anonymous informants — such as the information about the PCC “tribunal” that was broken up a couple of weeks ago, with nine dead —  was reportedly the fruit of this labor.

State public safety secretary Antonio Ferreira Pinto contests the federal government report and its findings.

“I am indignant. These reports are baseless. ABIN does not monitor the prisons and had no contact with state criminal intelligence forces.  Nor does it monitor the borders in order to supress the entry of weapons and drugs.” Ferreira accused the agency of serving partisan political interests during the elections campaign.

Public safety is in fact one of the major concerns of all Sambodians, recent research says. And it is one of our top concerns, perosonally speaking.

Federal intervention using ABIN and the National Public Security Force — a highly trained civilian police ready response force — are becoming more and more common. Among the uses to which the Força  may be put is as a substitute for police forces compromised by systemic corruption.

According to this somewhat hagiographical 2010 profile in Veja magazine, Ferreira Pinto is a former military police commander and military justice prosecutor who had expelled 317 corrupt or criminal police during the first year of his term.

The Command. The order to enforce Clause 18 against Rota reportedly comes directly from  Marco Willians Herbas Camacho, aka Marcola, the PCC leader serving time at Penitentiary 2 in Presidente Venceslau. PCC members are instructed to familiarize themselves with the day to day habits of police and then execute them during their days off — preferably in front of their famllies.

Data collected by the state military police show that the number of policemen slain this year is up 40% compared with the same period in 2011. The federal government is worried that the crisis may intensify and spread to areas outside metro São Paulo.  ABIN intelligence indicates that the PCC has rearmed and expanded in recent years. Although the group focuses on São Paulo, it has associations with criminals from various states, and especially those bordering on Paraguay and Bolivia.

If ABIN has information on ties to the Paraguayan and Bolivian no man’s zones, the state secretary must be mistaken.

ABIN has not issued a public statement on any subject since a sudden change in leadership in 2008.