RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Three days after he attempted to break out of jail wearing a creepy plastic mask, a Brazilian inmate was found dead in his cell, having apparently hanged himself, Rio de Janeiro state authorities said on Tuesday.
Convicted Rio drug dealer Clauvino da Silva, 42, was serving a decades-long sentence when he was caught trying to break out of jail Saturday while wearing an eerie plastic mask, a long black wig and women’s clothes, including a bra.
Walking toward the exit as visiting hours ended, he was just steps from freedom when a suspicious guard stopped him.
A video, released by prison authorities, in which he slowly removes his surreal disguise went viral.
On Tuesday, in a gruesome twist, Rio prison officials said Silva had been found dead in his cell in a high-security unit in the state’s Bangu prison complex.
“The inmate appears to have hanged himself with a bed sheet,” Rio’s prison authority said in a statement, adding that an investigation had been opened.
The death of Silva is an embarrassment for Rio’s prison authorities, which had initially cheered their actions in preventing his unusual escape plan. He is the latest prisoner to die in Brazil’s jails, which have become a major headache for new tough-on-crime President Jair Bolsonaro.
Last week, at least 57 people died after a prison riot broke out in the northern state of Para. More than 50 inmates died in similar circumstances in May during prison riots in the northern state of Amazonas.
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Brazil’s incarcerated population has surged eight-fold in three decades to around 750,000 inmates. Prison gangs, originally formed to protect inmates and advocate for better conditions, have come to wield vast power that reaches far beyond prison walls.
The gangs are linked to bank heists, drug trafficking and gun-running, with jailed kingpins running their empires via smuggled cellphones.
Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World