Reports published on November 30 indicate that about twenty days prior military police uncovered a plan to assassinate São Paulo’s former Secretary of Public Security Antonio Ferreira Pinto, who served from 2009 to 2012. The plot was purportedly organized by the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), one of Brazil’s largest criminal organizations. Sources indicate the group sought to kill Pinto to convey a warning to acting authorities, so as to intimidate officials not to transfer PCC’s convicted criminals to federal prisons. Following these suspicions, Pinto has been placed under police protection.
We assess reports suggesting a likely attack against Pinto are well-substantiated, further underscoring the risk to officials perceived to challenge organized crime. In this regard, despite not being an acting official, Pinto is noted for being the first Security Secretary to recommend transferring dangerous PCC members from state to federal prisons, which are considered more secure. Although security forces have recurrently foiled attacks and rescue plans planned by organized crime, groups like the PCC or the Comando Vermelho still remain a considerable security threat. They possess military equipment, including high caliber weaponry, and boast sophisticated capabilities.