Home South America Brazil Jailbreak: Fugitives Nabbed After 50-Day Manhunt

Brazil Jailbreak: Fugitives Nabbed After 50-Day Manhunt

Rogério Mendonça and Deibson Nascimento became the first inmates to ever escape from Brazil’s top federal penitentiary system in February.
Brazil jailbreak, 50-day manhunt,
A Brazilian Federal Police handout shows gang members Rogério Mendonça (right) and Deibson Nascimento (left) who escaped from a high security prison February 14 and were caught after a massive 50-day manhunt on March 5.

SAO PAULO: After an exhaustive 50-day search, Brazilian authorities have apprehended two fugitives who escaped from a maximum-security prison in northeastern Brazil earlier this week. In addition to the capture of Rogério Mendonça and Deibson Nascimento, law enforcement has detained 14 individuals for aiding the fugitives with and after their escape.

The February escape of Mendonça and Nascimento marked the first-ever prison break from Brazil’s federal penitentiary system, causing considerable embarrassment for law enforcement agencies. The duo’s arrest on Thursday in the Amazon city of Maraba, over 1,600 kilometers from the Mossoro penitentiary where they were incarcerated, brings closure to the nationwide manhunt.

Speaking at a news conference in Brasilia, Justice Minister Ricardo Lewandowski described the arrests as a triumph for Brazil’s security forces, emphasizing the country’s resolute stance against organized crime. According to Lewandowski, the federal police intercepted Mendonça and Nascimento as they were preparing to leave Brazil, apprehending them along with four accomplices on a bridge. The operation also led to the seizure of three vehicles and multiple firearms.

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Mendonça and Nascimento, both affiliated with one of Brazil’s most notorious crime syndicates, were serving sentences totaling 155 years in Mossoro before their escape. During their time on the run, they reportedly held a family hostage, sought refuge on a farm, and engaged in violence in the rural outskirts of Barauna.

Authorities are investigating potential local support for the fugitives and have pledged to return them to the Mossoro penitentiary. The escape, facilitated through a hole in the prison and tools left by workers during renovations, underscores the external assistance received by the fugitives, Lewandowski noted. Over 600 law enforcement were involved in the massive manhunt.

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