Primeiro Comando da Capital
Primeiro Comando da Capital Founded 1993
Founding location Taubaté prison, São Paulo, Brazil
Years active 1993-present
Ethnicity Mixed, Brazilian
Criminal activities Murder, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, extortion, prison riots, prison breaks, kidnapping,
highway robbery activities
Primeiro Comando da Capital, or PCC (“First Command of the Capital”, Portuguese pronunciation: da kapi’taw]), is an anti-establishment Brazilian prison gang and criminal organization founded in 1993 by inmates of Taubaté prison in São Paulo. Since its inception, PCC has been responsible for several criminal activities such as prison breaks, prison riots, drug trafficking and highway robbery.
The name First Capital Command refers to the city of São Paulo, which is the capital of São Paulo state. The city and state having the same name, people from any part of São Paulo state often refer to the city as “the capital.”
The PCC was founded on August 31, 1993, by eight prisoners at Taubaté Penitentiary, called Piranhão (Big Piranha) in the state of São Paulo. At the time this was the safest jail in the state.
The group got together during a soccer game. When prisoners were transferred from the city of São Paulo to the Piranhão as punishment for bad behavior, they decided to name their football team the Capital Command.
The initial members were Misael “Misa” Aparecido da Silva, Wander Eduardo “Cara Gorda” (Fat Face) Ferreira, Antônio Carlos Roberto da Paixão, Isaías “Esquisito” (Weird) Moreira do Nascimento, Ademar “Dafé” dos Santos, Antônio “Bicho Feio” (Ugly Beast) Carlos dos Santos, César “Césinha” (Little César) Augusto Roris da Silva and José “Geleião” (Big Jelly) Márcio Felício.
PCC, which was also formerly referred to as the Party of Crime, and as 15.3.3 (following the order of the letters “P” and “C” in the former Brazilian alphabet), was founded with a clear political agenda, aiming to “fight the oppression inside the São Paulo penitentiary system” and to “avenge the death of 111 prisoners,” victims of the October 2, 1992 Carandiru massacre, when the São Paulo State Military Police stormed the now-extinct Casa de Detenção (a very large prison) and killed prisoners from its 9th pavilion in the process.
The group made use of the Chinese taititu (“yin yang”) symbol as their emblem, saying it represented “a way to balance good and evil with wisdom.” In February 2001, Idemir “Sombra” (Shadow) Carlos Ambrósio became the most prominent leader of the organization when he coordinated, by cell phone, simultaneous rebellions in 29 São Paulo state prisons, in which 16 prisoners were killed. “Sombra,” also referred to as “father,” was beaten to death on the Piranhão five months later by five members of the criminal faction in an internal struggle for the general command of the PCC. The PCC was led by “Geleião” and “Cesinha,” responsible for the alliance with another criminal organization, Rio de Janeiro’s Comando Vermelho.
São Paulo’s military Police (Polícia Militar) is the main target of the attacks.Geleião and Cesinha, from the Bangú Penitentiary where they were held, went on to coordinate violent attacks against public buildings. Considered radicals by another moderate current of the PCC, they used terrorism to intimidate authorities of the prison system and were withdrawn from leadership in November 2002, when the leadership was taken by the current leader of the organization Marcos “Marcola” Willians Herbas Camacho. After he took over, the organization put a death bounty on Geleião and Cesinha, on the counts of having testified to the police and creating the Terceiro Comando da Capital (Third Capital Command, TCC).
Under the leadership of Marcola, also known as “Playboy,” currently detained for bank robbery, the PCC took part in the March 2003 murder of Judge Antônio José Machado Dias, who ran the Penitentiary Readaptation Center (CRP) from Presidente Bernardes, São Paulo, currently Brazil’s most strict supermax-style prison. The PCC also announced its objective to use prison uprisings as a way to demoralize the government and to destroy the CRP.
The organization is partly funded by its members, called “brothers.” They are required to pay a monthly fee of R$50.00 (about US $27) while in prison, or R$500.00 (about US $270) if they are outside of it. The money is used to buy weapons and drugs, and also to finance operations to bail out prisoners connected to the organization. In order to become a member of the PCC, the prospective member needs to be formally introduced by another regular member, taking an oath to follow its 16-clause statute.