Brazilian criminals show off weaponry on social media

Ronaldo Olive
by Ronaldo Olive

The advent of the social media fever in the World Wide Web has brought out countless expected and other not-so results, which range from family members barely talking to each other while at home or in restaurants to outlaws promoting their own images by exhibiting their tools of trade in posed photos or videos, something that has become increasingly popular and common here in Brazil. Why they do that may be better explained by professional psychologists and sociologists if ego-related-only aspects are considered, something very similar indeed to what law-abiding, “normal” people do when they post their pictures visiting touristic spots around the world, or simply, smiling happily in front of their newly acquired sailboats. More often than not, however, criminals in this neck of the woods post said material just to show to their rival gangs what hardware they count on not only to perpetuate crimes, but to fight the completion, as well.

I’ve just spent a couple of hours in front of my computer to bring you some of the material found. It’s just a glimpse of the general scenario, but it will give you an idea of what the local police have to face nationwide on a daily basis. Foreign weapons prevail. Brazil’s frontiers with its South American neighbors to the North, West, and South is about 16,400 kilometers long, most of which including jungles and scarcely-patrolled regions. As tight and efficient as a spaced barbed wire fence used to keep mosquitoes from passing through… Got the picture?

Remember, these are Internet-posted images, not obtained through LE sources or printed/TV media. Oh, yes: many of these guys are no longer in business due to a number of expected reasons…

Posing among the usual (FAL, AK, AR-15) assortment of guns available to his gang, this criminal has a 7.62x39mm Hungarian AMD-65A hanging from his neck. Batches of these rifles have already been seized when arriving in Brazil in ship containers coming from the U.S.
A short-barrel, foldable stock FAL and a telescopic stock G3, both in 7.62x51mm, are classically displayed by this man. You'll notice that sport and Bermuda shorts are widely in fashion here...
Not only are the AK platforms popular here, but also their large-capacity (75-100 rounds) drum magazines. This guy's rifle is fitted with a small red-dot sight, but he doesn't seem to need a stock for his gun since it has none. Note the "elegant" chicken wing stance...
Rarer birds are occasionally shown off, such as this 5.56x45mm short-barrel Heckler & Koch G36C. Sometimes, airsoft specimens are displayed, too, so being absolutely sure if this is the real McCoy is no easy task.
A 5.56x45mm SIG SG 551 Swat rifle making an appearance. The Brazilian Air Force has some of these in its inventory, but those have an original greenish polymer furniture and SIG-made translucent magazines.
There is not such a thing as a "standard" pistol used by drug traffickers in Brazil, but there is a "must have" pistol: that's the 9x19mm Glock fitted with a high-capacity (typically, 31 rounds) magazine and a full-auto sear kit, the so-called "Fun Switch". Yup, they're also carrying hand grenades...
When a real submachine is needed, a faithful 9x19mm Heckler & Koch MP5 may come in handy. Mainly in a plush nickel-plated finish, as this one.
This informally-dressed crime trooper is watching his neighborhood while carrying a modified 7.62x39mm Chinese Norinco Type 56 (SKS) rifle with a composite adjustable stock, synthetic stock and pistol grip, 30-round detachable magazine, and short muzzle brake.
This outlaw's intention when posting this photo of his EOTech (552?) holographic sight-equipped AR platform pointing at two PMERJ (Rio de Janeiro Military Police) patrol cars is left to nobody's guess...
The two AR-type rifles held by the guy on the right are no big deal, but the other man's scoped gun is somewhat unusual, appearing to be a Ruger Mini 14 with a short barrel (AC556K front sight, but closer to the muzzle) and an improvised stock. What do you say, folks?
If a full-auto Glock with a 31-round magazine is a basic status symbol for Brazilian drug traffickers, imagine how they feel with a scoped RONI-adapted example with a 100-round dual-drum magazine in their hands? Time to post photo in the social media, of course!

Slightly higher-res pics available here:

Ronaldo Olive
Ronaldo Olive

Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil's armed and police forces.

More by Ronaldo Olive

Join the conversation
3 of 29 comments
  • Drpepper70 Drpepper70 on Nov 06, 2017

    When I grew up in Brazil in the 1970's it was still a military dictatorship. It was extremely safe and as teens we would hop on the bus an ride hour to the beach and camp for a week with nno worries. We were about 15 years old. We'd drink nothing but run and vodka the whole time. The beach was the highway at that time north of Santos. When Brazil went to open elections, the leftist like Lula and Dilma totally corrupted an already corrupt socialist regime. This is what happens when leftist are left to run things. It ALWAYS happens.

  • Tothe Tothe on Nov 08, 2017

    Funny how prohibitions never impede criminals.