April 15, 2008 |
Armed men firing from pickup trucks and flying in a helicopter attacked a maximum-security prison holding some of Brazil's highest-profile inmates but were repelled by guards, authorities said. No inmates escaped. The federal prison attacked late Sunday houses Colombian drug lord Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia and Brazilian gang leader Luiz Fernando da Costa -- and officials were investigating whether the gunmen were trying to free either of them. The helicopter never landed, according to a Justice Ministry spokesman who declined to give his name.
October 1, 2002 |
Thousands of businesses in crime-plagued Rio de Janeiro shut down after powerful drug lords reportedly ordered a lockdown. Police pleaded for storekeepers--including some in the city center and the posh South Zone, with its famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches--not to cave in to the pressure. Gangs control hundreds of Rio's shantytowns and often order shops and schools to close when a prominent gang member is arrested or killed.
August 10, 2001 |
Brazil's best-known drug lord has proposed that fellow inmate Gloria Trevi, Mexico's fallen queen of pop, lighten up his time behind bars with a bit of "jailhouse rock," a Brazilian newspaper reported. Luiz Fernando da Costa, who is awaiting sentencing in the same Brasilia jail as Trevi, allegedly offered to pay the fallen singer $40,000 for an exclusive musical performance, the daily Extra reported.
July 5, 2003 |
Colombian prosecutors Friday charged top Marxist rebels with drug trafficking, a move that could make it easier to extradite them to the United States if they are caught but could also complicate any future peace talks. Prosecutors believe one of the main reasons for the recent spectacular growth of the 17,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has been income from the cocaine trade.
April 21, 2001 |
Troops deep in the Colombian jungle have located and are closing in on Brazil's top drug lord, accused of selling arms to leftist rebels in exchange for cocaine, the army said Friday. Luiz Fernando da Costa, known by his Brazilian nickname Fernandinho Beira Mar, is believed to be on the run in a thick jungle region near Colombia's border with Venezuela and Brazil.
September 13, 2002 |
One of Brazil's most notorious drug lords surrendered Thursday after taking over parts of a maximum-security prison and killing four rival crime bosses, officials said. Luiz Fernando da Costa smiled widely and sang a tune before he and members of his Red Command crime syndicate released their hostages and turned in their weapons to authorities inside Rio's Bangu I penitentiary.