Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat TY GUS Univision
|Clothes are seen in a tunnel entrance at Pedro Juan Caballero city jail in Paraguay, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. Dozens of inmates escaped from this prison early morning, mostly of Brazil’s criminal group PCC, “Capital First Command.”|
Some 76 prisoners from a prison in the Paraguayan city of Pedro Juan Caballero, bordering Brazil, escaped this Sunday through a tunnel they dug for weeks, police said Sunday. These are 40 Brazilians and 36 Paraguayans, mostly from the same criminal group dedicated to drug trafficking.
“The escape occurred early Sunday through a tunnel built” by the inmates that started in one of the internal toilets, said police spokeswoman, Commissioner Elena Andrada. “Our best men moved to the border to try to recapture the escapees.”
“There are only 25 meters between the tunnel and the nearest gatehouse (of guards),” he said , assuring that only one inmate was unable to escape and that hundreds of bags of soil were found during the first review of the site.
Most of the escapees are members of the largest gang of drug traffickers – cocaine – and weapons from Brazil, known as First Capital Command (PCC). In the flight they used five vans that were later found on fire in Ponta Porá, a city on the Brazilian side of the border separated from Paraguay just by an avenue. And among the escapees, the heaviest inmate was one of the leaders of the cartel, named David Timoteo Ferreira, who had been in custody since 2017.
“It is an unprecedented escape … It is a work of several weeks. It is evident that the staff knew and did nothing,” criticized the Minister of Justice of Paraguay, Cecilia Pérez, who said she believes that criminals already crossed to Brazil and classified them as “high danger”. “This is very serious”. He added.
As a result, the prison director was dismissed and 28 prison guards arrested. “There is a strong suspicion that officials are involved in the corruption scheme,” Pérez added.