Checks and Balances

August 1, 2017 Crime , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , South America


Ricardo Swire


Global internal security official assessments categorize local jewelry stores as high-profile targets, retail jewellers being the greatest risk. Statistics calculate crime against jewelry stores results in losses of more than US$125 million annually. On July 13, 2017 four gunmen attempted to rob the EuroChronos jewelry store in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, an activated alarm bringing responding Bolivian National Police officers to the hostage scene in five minutes.

Bolivia’s National Police Special Anti-Crime Unit’s regional Commander reported when the gunmen were verbally challenged and confronted by officers they started shooting. After the smoke cleared seven bodies lay scattered on the ground. Three belonged to Brazilian Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) or First Capital Command gunmen, “Marcaco” and “Camilo” recognized as two of the three dead Brazilians. A Bolivian National Police Lieutenant, the EuroChronos General Manager, a female store employee and a female hostage were the four other identified corpses.

In 2014 EuroChronos was robbed of jewelry and cash valued US$1.5 million, the most violent event in Bolivia’s last fifty years. The attempted robbery was also an eye opener that convinced senior Bolivian and Brazilian bureaucrats to sign the bilateral agreement that helps prevent further expansion of Brazilian criminal organizations in Bolivia.

The PCC and Comando Vermelho or Red Command, formerly two allied Brazilian prison mega gangs, are now at war for conquest over the world’s second largest consumer drugs market. The PCC transcends national borders and participates in criminal activity in Bolivia, Colombia and Paraguay. In March 2017 Brazilian PCC gunmen attacked a Brinks armored convoy in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In an intensified quest for ultimate domestic supremacy the PCC and Red Command have forged an unofficial “territorial division” memorandum of understanding regarding Bolivian operations.

The PCC governs criminal happenings in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Rivals Red Command’s stronghold is the Pando department in northern Bolivia that connects the border with Brazil and Peru. From Wednesday July 26, 2017 four senior Brazil Federal Police officers were assigned to Cobija, Guayaramerin, Puerto Suarez and Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia. The Brazilians law enforcers function as joint operations coordinators with Bolivian National Police.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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