"One of São Paulo's most notorious organizations, the ruthless vigilante squad known as the Crachá Preto is a self-proclaimed "community self-defense force" that causes far more terror than tranquility in those that they claim to protect. Comprised of off-duty cops, firefighters and even active military men, the Crachá Preto are a treacherous gang filled with some of UFE's most marked men."

Left: The gang's police record.
Right: An armed member of the gang.

The Crachá Preto (English: Black Badge) was a Brazilian vigilante militia gang based in São Paulo, circa 2012.

Description and overviewEdit

Members and activitesEdit

The Crachá Preto was made up of off-duty and former police officers, soldiers, prison guards and firefighters led by former rogue police Captain Álvaro Neves. At some point in 2007, Milo Rego, a psychopathic ex-soldier, was recruited in the gang and overtime became Neves' friend, bodyguard and right-hand man and the second-in-command of the gang. Its known activities were extortion, blackmail, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, kidnapping, murder, and torture. The gang's estimated size was around 400 members. The gang members were extremely well-armed and equipped. The gang had a strong proficiency with ranged weapons.


The name Crachá Preto (Portuguese for "Black Badge") was coined because officers used to cover up the name and unit tags on their uniforms before vigilante attacks.

Relations with politiciansEdit

The gang had close ties to high-ranking officials and politicians in São Paulo. The gang was suspected of influencing political campaigns through voter intimidation.


The gang's victims were often found dismembered, secretly buried, or burned, making identification almost impossible. They were known for their use of torture, including castration, electric shock and asphyxiation.



The Crachá Preto was formed in 2006 by a group of rogue officers who started carrying out extrajudicial killings in under-policed areas of São Paulo, including Álvaro Neves, who became the gang's leader.

Over the years, the gang's members promoted themselves as a “community self-defence force”, but actually, they were a little more than a death squad for hire.

The gang was initially financed by members of the business community and other wealthy residents to eliminate thieves, drug dealers and other social undesirables.

Criminal acts and war over São PauloEdit

The Crachá Preto was allegedly responsible for the massacre of more than 200 homeless people in 2008. Between 2006 and 2009, the gang's activities were focused on taking control of favelas from gang members.

The gang has a pattern of winning over favela residents by ousting drug dealers, then imposing their own autocracy on the community. Militia members take over the water, gas and cable supplies, in addition to charging a ‘security tax’ for protection.

Police sources indicate an increased focus on arms/drugs trafficking and political assassinations since 2009.

They were believed to be responsible for the murders of up to 90 local politicians, judges, witnesses and community leaders between January 2010 and December 2011. The gang kidnapped and tortured two Spanish journalists who attempted to investigate them in 2010.

Human Rights organizations report a marked increase in missing persons from low income communities of São Paulo since 2010, claiming that the gang was responsible for this. The gang was also accused of planting crime scene evidence and staging executions to look like gang killings.

It is known that this gang was in a vicious gang war with the Comando Sombra, another gang who wants to take control of the city.

The Organ Harvesting Scandal and DownfallEdit

At some point, they were hired by Victor Branco to harvest the organs of Sao Paulo's poorer residents to help finance his political campaign for Mayor. They were also sent to steal the ransom money to be paid to the Comando Sombra for the safe return of Fabiana Branco at the soccer stadium, which they succeeded. They later attacked the Branco office building, supposedly to kill Max Payne to avenge their comrades he killed at the stadium but actually to distract him so Rodrigo Branco could be assassinated. They also helped the UFE raid Nova Esperanca favela and later bought kidnapped favela residents to be murdered and their organs harvested. They also necklaced Marcelo Branco and would have done the same to Giovanna Taveres if Payne didn't rescue her, killing Milo Rego in the process. They later attacked the two at a bus station but failed to kill them. Payne later attacked their headquarters, the Imperial Palace Hotel, and rescued their surviving prisoners before destroying the building, Passos kills Neves by shooting him in the head. Shortly afterward the organ harvesting scandal was exposed. With the destruction of their base and primary business, along with the death of so many of their members, including both their leader and co-leader, and the presumed arrest of any surviving members, the Crachá Preto was essentially destroyed.





See alsoEdit