Tunnel features in major jailbreak

28 January 2020

Paraguay – At least 75 prisoners have escaped a prison in Paraguay through a tunnel, according to local media. The men are believed to be part of an infamous 10,000-strong Brazilian criminal organisation called First Capital Command, which deals in drugs and arms trafficking.

The tunnel was dug from a cell to a point beyond the prison walls, requiring the excavation of some 200 sandbags full of soft material. Although the tunnel is not as long or sophisticated as some of the tunnels completed by gangs in Mexico further north, this one was outfitted with a lighting system. It is thought the tunnel took some weeks to excavate. As in previous cases, the tunnel appears to have been dug from a bathroom area.

In a twist, there is some confusion about the actual method of escape. The tunnel may in fact be a diversion, with an accusation from the Paraguayan interior minister that many prisoners may have walked out through the main gate. These walk-outs may have occurred prior to the ‘official’ jailbreak.

Dozens of guards have been fired and subsequently arrested for questioning, while armed police are searching for the escapees.