June 11, 2006

ATTAC Report This Week

Revolutionary Flames in Rio

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Urban guerrilla warfare has broken out in Brazil’s largest cities, leaving police on the defensive and threatening the system itself. Is Brazil on the verge of Marxist revolution?

Hello. I’m your host, Boruch Ellison, and this is “ATTAC Report This Week” for June 11th, 2006.

It was the largest revolutionary offensive in Brazil’s recent history. Over a several-day period in mid-May, one of the most notorious drug-dealing gangs in South America launched coordinated riots and takeovers in 80 prisons. While gang members inside the prisons were attacking guards, holding up to 400 hostages, their comrades in the streets of São Paulo attacked police officers, firemen, and civilians in an uncontrolled wave of terrorism.

Helpless police found themselves defending their own stations while gangsters ruled the streets of Brazil’s largest city. Terrorists forced passengers off numerous buses and burned the vehicles, leaving millions stranded or delayed as the system came to a halt. Military assault rifles, grenades, and firebombs were used against banks, bars, police cars, police and fire stations, and a courthouse. The regional insurrection spread from poor, gang-controlled areas into middle class neighborhoods, and stores and schools were forced to close down under gang threats. By the time the violence ended, neary 170 people had died, including a staggering 39 police officers and four civilians.

The organization behind the terror wave was the First Capital Command, or PCC, a vast crime syndicate dominating the narcotics trade, murders, robberies, kidnappings, and other violent crime throughout the São Paulo area, including cocaine shipment to Europe. The PCC has become so powerful that it bribes law enforcement authorities and prison guards, who allow gang leaders to run their criminal activities from inside prison walls using cell phones.

The PCC gang is only part of a larger web of organized crime spread throughout Brazil. Like the PCC, the other gangs completely control prisons and inner-city slums, where they terrorize the residents, force young children to participate in drug dealing, organize riots, and carry out execution-style murders and enforced commercial strikes.

All this would be shocking enough if it were motivated by money. But the gang leaders openly admit their real objective lies in Marxist political revolution aimed at overthrowing the government. Brazil’s organized crime was born from inside the prison system, where Communist revolutionaries serving time for terrorism gained control of the drug trade during the 1970s. Today, the criminal underground is led by drug kingpin Luiz Fernando da Costa and his Red Command organization, which he controls from his cell at Rio de Janeiro’s maximum security Bangu I prison.

Recruited into organized crime years ago, da Costa rose to the top and forged ties with the Communist Party of Colombia and its terrorist wing, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Through them, da Costa became a leader in a drug network spanning the Western Hemisphere and organized by Cuba, Soviet Russia, and Soviet Ukraine. Da Costa’s Red Command and allied gangs receive Soviet Russian assault rifles and grenades for their terrorist war inside Brazil.

The revolution couldn’t possibly succeed without allies in high places. While some Communists from the 1960s moved into organized crime, others put on suits and ties and entered politics, or became professors or journalists. Elections four years ago brought the Workers’ Party, a Communist front, to power in Brazil. With it came a number of Cuban-supported terrorists, who took their posts as members of the nation’s Congress as well as the environment minister, the president’s chief of staff, and even the president himself — Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The Communists now running the Brazilian government have loosened restrictions on the Marxist gang members while ordering police to retreat from fighting the gangs. They’re even instituting gun controls to disarm the civilian population.

That explains the new ability of the Red Command and other gangs to destabilize Brazil’s urban areas through guerrilla warfare. But if Brazil itself cannot throw the Communists out of power, the United States may have to intervene — before it faces an enormous new “Cuba” on its back doorstep.

Thank you for listening. From all of us at ATTAC Report, good-bye.

(“ATTAC Report This Week” is available at www.ATTACReport.com.)