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The state prison service, Seap, said officers found the body of Clauvino da Silva, 42, on Tuesday morning at the high security prison complex he had attempted to flee. It added that he appeared to have taken his own life.
Silva, a member of Brazil’s Red Command drug faction, had been serving a nearly 73-year sentence when he tried to flee on Saturday with the help of a silicone mask, a black bra and wig, and a skin-tight T-shirt emblazoned with three pink doughnuts.
The gangster, known by his alias Baixinho (“Shorty”), had apparently hoped to trick prison officers into thinking he was his 19-year-old daughter, who had been visiting.
But suspicious officials stopped Silva as he tried to leave the compound and demanded he strip before their cameras. That video went viral in Brazil and around the world and Silva was moved into solitary confinement as punishment.
Authorities had celebrated foiling the criminal’s jailbreak, distributing photographs and video of his unusual disguise to the media.
But Silva’s death represents the second major humiliation for Brazil’s notoriously overcrowded jail system in just over a week.
In late July 58 prisoners were killed – 16 of them beheaded – during an eruption of horrific gang violence in the Amazon state of Pará.
Two days after the bloodbath – one of Brazil’s worst since 111 people died during the notorious 1992 Carandiru massacre – another four prisoners died as they were transferred to another prison unit.