August 06, 2019

Brazil gang leader who tried to walk out of prison in mask of daughter’s face found dead in cell
A Brazilian gang leader who was caught trying to escape prison disguised as his teenage daughter has been found dead in his cell.Clauvino da Silva, 42, made headlines around the world after attempting to walk out of jail wearing a silicone face mask, long black wig, skinny jeans, white sandals and a pink t-shirt.A video released by prison authorities showed him slowly removing the outfit, including a bra and glasses, after he was stopped by guards on Saturday.The feared leader of Rio de Janeiro’s Red Command gang was transferred to a high-security unit in the state’s Bangu prison complex after the failed breakout.His death was confirmed by Rio de Janeiro’s prison authority on Tuesday, who said in a statement that he appeared to have committed suicide.Officials have now launched an investigation. Brazil’s jails, which now hold around 750,000 inmates across the country, have become a major headache for the country’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.Last week, at least 57 people died during a prison riot involving rival criminal gangs in the northern state of Para. Sixteen inmates were decapitated.More than 50 inmates died in another prison riot in the northern state of Amazonas in May.Mr Bolsonaro says he wants to build many more prisons to hold Brazil’s growing prison population, which has surged eight-fold in three decades to around 750,000 inmates.He also wants to impose tighter controls, although his powers may be limited as they are run at state level.Da Silva’s escape plan appears to have involved his 19-year-old daughter visiting the Gericino jail, where he was serving a 73-year sentence, and then staying behind while he left with a group of seven other women.However guards became suspicious about the way he walked. “Even though he had the face of a girl, he didn’t move like a woman,” said a spokesperson for Rio’s state secretary of prison administration.You can contact the Samaritans by calling them for free from any phone for free on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.Additional reporting by Reuters
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