Ceará Gang Truce Shows Brazil Government Could Be Common Enemy

The northern state of Ceará in Brazil has become a battlefield after government plans to clamp down on gang-controlled prisons were met with an...

Red Command Profile

Graffiti bearing the Red Command's initials

Red Command

The Red Command (Comando Vermelho) is Brazil’s oldest criminal group, created in a Rio de Janeiro prison in the 1970s as a self-protection group for prisoners. It started out with low-level crimes like muggings and bank robberies, but in the 1980s the group moved into the cocaine trade, working with Colombian drug cartels and taking on a social leadership role in many of Rio’s marginalized neighborhoods.