Guards Helped 76 Inmates Break Out Of Paraguay Jail

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

CEN/Fiscalia Paraguay

Paraguayan prosecutors have released footage of the jailbreak of 76 inmates who escaped through a tunnel saying it can be seen that they were assisted by prison guards.

The prisoners, the majority of whom belong to the Brazilian gang Primer Comando Capital (First Capital Command (PCC), escaped from the Pedro Juan Caballero prison in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero in the eastern Paraguayan department of Amambay near the border with Brazil on 19th January.

CEN/Fiscalia Paraguay

Prosecutor Federico Delfino presented the footage to local media and said the original plan was to help with the jailbreak of 14 key members of the Brazilian gang, but the others took advantage of the situation.

Delfino said the tunnel was completed over seven days, probably with picks and hoes, according to topographic research.

CEN/Fiscalia Paraguay

In one video, the moment the guards discover the tunnel on the outskirts of the prison can be seen and yet Delfino said it was another 90 minutes before the alarm was raised according to officials.

In a second video, the moment guards on duty are told about the jailbreak is recorded, showing them failing to leap into action in order to chase and capture the criminals.

According to the prosecution, this evidence strengthens the investigation of 32 suspects, among them prison guards and workers, as well as the prison director who still remains under arrest.

Delfino told local media: “He (the director) was also aware of what was going on.”

He added that the jailbreak started at around 1.36am on 19th January and the main intention was to release gang bosses Timoteo Ferreira and Jose Antonio Dos Santos, the first to go through the tunnel, and several other leading members.

So far, only 13 escaped prisoners have been found and returned to prison, according to reports.

The Paraguayan authorities have admitted that corruption in the prison system appears to be the reason behind the mass jailbreak.

The investigation continues.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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