Leave it to the Estado to produce informative reporting on a dangerous and timely topic:: The criminal faction PCC, notorious for its war with the military police of São Paulo in 2006.
A young family in our Facebook-based community garden was assaulted just three days ago. A PM Battalion — the 23rd, I believe — is located within half a click of the park. Whether the troopers ever showed up we never found out, retreating indoors to avoid contact with young men with big guns. Including cops. Dialing 190 is for suckers.
Source: Observatório da Imprensa
By: Luciano Martins Costa
A report in the Friday edition of the Estado de S. Paulo presents the results of a broad investigation by the state public ministry (MPE) into the criminal organization known as the PCC — the First Command of the Capital. The picture it paints is a terrifying one, not aonly because it reveals the power of a criminal faction that dominates the principal prisons all over Brazil and operates in neighboring countries, but because it provides a clear notion of its sophisticated organization and the ease with which it operates.
The case represents the largest investigation ever undertaken by the MPE, requiring three and half years of work to produce 175 indictments and a petition to maintain 32 prisoners in a higher security environment. Evidence was collected, phones were tapped, witnesses testified and sparse data on drug and weapons seizures put together by investigators constitute the core of the case.
Below, I present a brief excerpt of the OESP story in translation. Luciano Martins Costa resumes.
The organization chart of power in the criminal organizations, to which the S. Paulo daily devotes half a page, reveals the structure of a major business, complete with a sort of board of directors.
In one of the recordings released by the MPE, the head man of the organization reports having disciplined the execution of enemies and dissidents, boasting of his power as an intermediary in disputes among members, and accuses Governor Geraldo Alckmin of taking advantage of indicators that violence is down. “So you are saying that that homicides fell I don’t know what percent and here I see the governor, taking creditor for it,” the leader says.
Despite the caution used by criminals in their telephone communications, the detailed task of organizing the contents enabled investigators to trace a map of this parallel power. Even so, there is no guarantee that this work will result in more effective action by the state against the faction.
This because, first of all, the judiciary is not being kept informed of the MPE and its efforts to break up the gang. The courts will have to rule separately in 175 separate proceedings, which takes time. This constitutes an advantage for the attorneys of the bandits. Secondly, because as the investigation itself demonstrates, the gang has many allies inside the police establishment.
It is at this point that we perceive a gap in the Estadão’s story, most likely due to the lack of information about this fundamental aspect of the social phenomenon known as organized crime.
It is near imposssible to consolidate an operation of this scale and sophistication under the noses of police without the police themselves either laying or actively contributing to it. For this reason, an investigation of this scale cannot be completed if we fail to expose the relations between crime and the public autorities.
As the popular saying goes, if the jabuti is high up in the tree, it is because someone put it there.
According to the report, the MPE caught the entire leadership of the PCC “in an interminable cycle of crimes” — ordering assassinations, buying weapons and importing tons of cocaine and marijuana. These are ongoing, routine crimes for these people, under the rigorous command of the bosses who reside in high security prisons.
How to explain how the group is so well organized and effective? A horse will not walk downstairs, as the late columnist Ibrahim Sued, of O Globo, would say when he wanted to argue that certain things will never change.
An important passage is missing from the Estadão article, which may have been held back by the MPE to create a more effective impact in the future. This information are the official side of the crime, in which the omission of the State and the partnerships between criminals and law enforcement are revealed.
The Estadão on the PCC 175
The largest investigation ever leads to arrest of 175 PCC members: The headline is an obvious one. The story suffers, however, from a confusing fixation of an incidental contract between a PCC lawyer and the chief justice, Barbosa.
PCC plans assassination of Governor Alckmin, wiretaps show
Criminal activity of this type was first detected in 2010 and involved joint planning among at least two members of PCC leadership, the Final General Concord, and attorneys said to work for the Concord of the Neckties, the PCC’s legal wing.
On Augst 28, 2010, at 12:46 a.m.Daniel Vinícius Canônico, aka The Blind Man, was conversing with an attorney identified by the MPE as Maria Carolina Marrara de Matos. He complains that it is very difficult for prisoners at Penitentiary 2 of the Presidente Venceslau prison complex to receive the legal benefits conceded to other prisoners. Penitentiary 2 congregates most of the PCC leadership.
The attorney then reveals a plan to bundle together various appeals to the São Paulo court such as requests for a semi-open regime. She tells The Blind Man that her “brother” was “called to work with a magistrate, Ricardo Lewandowski\”
Currently a Supreme Court justice.
The Estado checked the list of civil servants in the judge’s office to see whether any had the same surname. Thee did not fin one. It also sought out the attorney on Friday. She denied knowing anyone on the STF, and that her brother does not work there. “This accusation is absurd and can prove it,” she said.
In the transcript, Cego asks the attorney to do as he proposes and she says she will visit Brasília to speak to the minister. There is no indication in the investigation that this conversation actually took place.
On September 15, 2010, investigators startled one of the senior leaders of the PCC, Edilson Borges Nogueira, aka Biroska, asking him to get his wife to goand see an attorney named Lucy de Lima. The attorney was to contact a politician from Diadema, in the greater São Paulo metro area, to help Biroska obtain other privileges while serving his time.
The politician was a muncipal alderman — Manoel Eduardo Marinho, aka Maninho (Workers Party). To the Estado, Maninho said he had contact with Biroska when he was a child because his father — Seu Nonô –was a municipal guardsman for Diadema and brother to a metalworker. Marinho was active in the metalworkers union. “I repudiate the PCC, but I still like Seu Nonô very much. Marinho denies being contacted by the attorney.
Biroska wanted the city official to testify on his behalf. The investigation did not discover whetehr the politician was contacted by the PCC. Biroska is the head of trafficking in the city of Diadema. Days before (August 20), Biroska was recorded identified as Lucy the attorney. She spoke about the appeal she was trying to negotiate for her client and said she could be meeting with a justice of the STF. She petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus whose rapporteur, according to the MPE, was current chief justice Joaquim Barbosa — the justice turned down the appeal.
Resistance. This newspaper sought out the attorney Lucy and left a message on her celll phone. None of the attorneys have been accused by the MPE. The attempt to influence courts higher up in the judicial hierarchy aim to … A tentativa de influenciar os tribunais superiores teria como objetivo vencer as resistências encontradas pelos bandidos para a concessão de benefícios.
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