LIMA – Six of the 17 prisoners who escaped over the weekend from Challapalca prison were captured Monday after a confrontation near the border with Bolivia, the director of Peru’s National Police announced.
“They were captured ... in Ipiñuma, to the northwest, near mile marker No. 9, just before you get to Bolivia ... They were intending to cross the border, but by order of the head of state (the border) was closed,” Gen. Raul Salazar told RPP radio.
He said the escapees used four machineguns and a shotgun they had taken from the prison to repel the cops, but they were eventually overcome and the weapons were recovered.
Salazar said that among the captured fugitives was the most hardened of the escapees, Jose Torres, a convicted murderer.
“The strategy has been of intelligence, control of the points with the support of the armed forces on the highway, patrols deployed and tightening the cordon to be able to get these criminals,” he said.
Salazar said that the 11 remaining fugitives are being sought with the support of the police and the army.
The 17 highly dangerous inmates fled the Challapalca prison before dawn Sunday, allegedly with the help of accomplices who awaited them in two trucks, and some 3,000 police were mobilized to search for them.
At the time of the escape, the prison housed 129 inmates but had only 13 guards. EFE