The police transferred on Wednesday morning (13th) to federal prison the chief of Brazil's largest criminal organization, Primeiro Comando da Capital (Capital's First Command, PCC). The destination of Marcos Camacho, 51, also known as Marcola, has not been confirmed yet, but authorities said it could have been Brasília (DF) or Porto Velho (RO).
The police also sent other 21 PCC high-ranking members to federal prisons, under a strong security operation. Marcola's brother is among them.
In 2006, a transfer of PCC members to the maximum security prison of Presidente Venceslau (380 miles away from São Paulo) led to the worst episode of violence in the state.
The organization led to more 300 attacks to public buildings that killed 59 law enforcement officers in five days.
The body count would rise during the ten following days when groups of vigilantes roamed city streets to avenge the police officers' deaths. In total, 505 civilians died.
São Paulo's military police had officers on duty at 3,300 locations on Wednesday to avoid new episodes of violence. The bureau of prisons also performed searches in almost all prisons in the state to curb rebellions.
The inmates were flown in an Armed Forces airplane that left from the airport of nearby town Presidente Prudente. The destinations were federal prisons in Brasília, Porto Velho (RO) and Mossoró (RN).
The federal government authorized the Armed Forces to police the whereabouts of Porto Velho and Mossoró's prisons until the 27th; in Brasília, an ordinance mandates security reinforcements from the National Guard for 90 days, and subject to renewal.
Translated by NATASHA MADOV