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One for the Folha | The Uncooked Books of the PCC

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

I read it in the Observatório da Imprensa — bylined to Luciano Martins Costa. I translate, in haste.

In its October 2 edition, the Folha de S.Paulo publishes new revelations based on documents seized from the criminal organization known as the PCC — Primeiro Comando da Capital — which is blamed for the growing number of murders of military police in recent months.

The metro daily released a sort of accounting ledger reflecting the payment of bribes in return for overlooking drug trafficking, as well as the involvement of military police in robberies carried out in partnership with the PCC.

The files seized by police — said to be in the possession of the state prosecutor — also reflect routine and systematic payoffs to state judicial police, organized by precinct, a well as deals cut with PMs to act jointly in armed robberies and hijackings.

The newspaper did not reveal the source of the information, but it is to be supposed that the leaks came from the prosecutor, as a way of resisting pressure from state authorities with an interest in denying the facts the documents reveal.

Standard Operating Procedurtes

The state public safety secretariate has not commented on the subject. Precinct captains in areas where police involvement is suspected say they know nothing about the case. The military police high command says it cannot comment on internal investigations.

Sought for comment, Gov. Geraldo Alckmin said that much of what is said about the power of the PCC is legend, and reinforced a statement last week by his public safety secretary, who contest the claim that the PCC and PM are in the midst of a war in the streets.

Despite the documents produced by the Folha, the governor and his secretary refuse to debate the possibility that São Paulo police are at war with a criminal faction.

The documents show that metro São Paulo is the principal strong point of the PCC, where it has 689 members. But the group is also concentrated in areas of Santos and Campinas, and has reportedly been traced  to small cities in the interior.

Some of the details published today allow us to observe the methods used by PCC leaders to discipline their troops. When extorted by police, for example, they are ordered to make a full report so that the financial losses can be accounted for.

While in some cases it is possible that criminals invent stories to justify skimming off some of the faction’s money, these reports are being investigate because they indicate the use of certain standard operating procedures used in specific regions.

Legend and Reality

The most interesting – and worrying – part of the Folha report is the possibility of an association of criminals with corrupt cops, reflected in entries showing monthly payments of bribes to specific precincts.

This information could well be related to the rise in murders of military police in recent weeks.

More rigorous and relentless police operations may violate an existing agreement for which a bribe has been paid, leading to a decline in revenue, and a higher death toll during confrontations with police. In this year along, , 73 PMs have been murdered in São Paulo state, most while off duty..

It is very likely that the governor and his secretary are right to insist that much of what is written about the PCC is “urban legend.” Still, the information published by the Folha also reveals a great deal of truth behind the legend, and that the material in the possession of the prosecutor tell only part of the tale. Ministério Público contam apenas parte dela.

Por exemplo, quando registra o que seria o patrimônio da facção criminosa, o jornal cita fuzis, pistolas, veículos e imóveis, mas em outras ocasiões a imprensa tem revelado que a organização costuma investir em postos de gasolina, como forma de lavar o dinheiro obtido com o crime.

Analisados no conjunto de informações já publicadas sobre esse grupo criminoso, os documentos revelados agora pela Folha traçam um retrato preocupante que merece a atenção de toda a imprensa.

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