Security on border with Paraguay tightened after jailbreak

Of the 75 fugitives, 40 are reported to be Brazilians

Published in 20/01/2020 - 10:48 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security reported it has stepped up the security scheme on the national borders with Paraguay with helicopters and barriers. The measure was taken after 75 prisoners escaped from the penitentiary of Juan Caballero, near the Brazilian town of Ponta Porã, Mato Grosso do Sul state. Among the fugitives are 40 Brazilians and 35 Paraguayans.

Paraguayan authorities believe the inmates used a tunnel to get away. One of them was recaptured while attempting to escape through the tunnel. Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo argues penitentiary agents may have helped the prisoners. “There’s complicity with the people inside; this is a phenomenon encompassing all penitentiaries,” he declared.

He also stated most runaways are highly dangerous and may have escaped to Brazil.

In a tweet posted Sunday (Jan. 19), the day when the escape took place, Minister of Justice and Public Security Sergio Moro mentioned the efforts of the Brazilian government in collaboration with Paraguayan security forces to prevent the criminals from entering Brazil.

“We’re working with state forces to prevent the criminals who escaped the prison in Paraguay from re-entering Brazil. If they return to Brazil, they get a one-way ticket to a federal prison,” Moro wrote.

In another post, the minister said he is at the service of the Paraguayan authorities to help recapture the inmates, adding that Paraguay has been a great partner in the fight against crime.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Juliana Andrade / Nira Foster

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