Africa Monitor

Africa Monitor Intelligence

Cape Verde: Intimidation of Authorities by Organized Crime

The attack against ÓSCAR SANTOS (OS) in 2019, then president of the Municipality of Praia (CMP), had a "modus operandi" similar to previous ones, against the former public prosecutor ARLINDO FIGUEIREDO SILVA; against the mother of KÁTIA MOREIRA, Judiciary Police agent; against JOSÉ LUÍS NEVES, son of former PM JOSÉ MARIA NEVES.
In all cases, victims were targeted by hooded gunmen, at the door of their residence or at a place they regularly visit - the gym, in the case of OS, who was the first mayor victim of an attack in the country. The circumstances of the attack indicate that the aim of was intimidation, not physical elimination. The former president of CMP had been the target of threats related to disputes over municipal land.
Lebanese and Russian capital groups are among the most active in the real estate sector, building shopping centers in several neighborhoods in Praia, including on land provided by CMP in areas where residents demand green space and leisure areas. Due to the amount of land it has obtained from CMP, the Lebanese group Kin Negoce has stood out in the process. CMP's relationship with the group is considered to be particularly suspicious in security forces circles (AM 1209). Drug trafficking and other illegal activities are considered to be the source of funds that support the recent real estate boom in the capital - used to introduce funds into the formal economy.
The inclination that international drug trafficking denotes for the use of Cape Verde as a "revolving plate" for the transit and storage of drugs has been increasing in recent years. International organizations dedicated to investigating and combating drug trafficking, as well as national institutions of a similar nature (police or intelligence services), each and others especially attentive to the situation in the NO of Africa, have been paying increasing attention to the case of Cape Verde (UNODC, DEA, NATO), in a way considered unofficial (AM 894).
The Mayor of Santa Catarina, Santiago Island, JOSÉ (´BETO) ALVES FERNANDES (BA), was shot on DEC.22 at his residence. The attack has strong similarities with the one that targeted OS, whose authors were never captured. Both were hit at close range, the non-lethality of the shot being apparently intentional, as a form of "warning".
The succession of cases of threats and violent score settling involving public office holders at the local level, in addition to elements of the PJ, has been exposing the violent nature of some of the networks linked to real estate and/ or drug trafficking, and the fragility of Cape Verdean institutions before them. READ MORE