At Least 75 Escape from Paraguay Prison

At Least 75 Escape from Paraguay Prison
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Police examine the hole on the ground around the Pedro Juan Caballero prison where at least 75 inmates, many of them members of a notorious Brazilian gang, escaped from the Paraguayan prison Sunday, January 19.
READ MORE: Authorities said they immediately fired the prison’s director. They discovered a tunnel and found cells filled with as many as 200 bags of earth.
Authorities also say it is impossible that no one saw the escape.
“With that amount (of escaped inmates), it’s impossible that nobody noticed,” said Reinalda Palacios, prosecutor.
Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo said in a statement that the tunnel itself may have been a ruse to cover complicity by prison officials and that many of the inmates may have been allowed to walk out of the prison’s main gate.
Acevedo said the majority of the escapees belong to the First Capital Command based in Brazil, which borders the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, where the prison is located.
The gang was founded in the 1990s inside a Sao Paulo prison and it has extended its influence throughout the country, becoming one of Brazil’s largest criminal organizations.
In Brazil, Justice Minister Sergio Moro said authorities were trying to prevent the escapees from re-entering the country.
Brazilian authorities said 40 of the escapees were Brazilian, and said they had passed their names and photos to border police.
Acevedo said national police had been mobilized to hunt for the escapees. (AP)