SAO PAULO – Convicted drug trafficker Clauvino da Silva, who tried to escape from a prison in Brazil last week posing as his daughter, was found dead in his cell on Tuesday, officials said.
The 42-year-old inmate, who was serving a 73-year and 10-month sentence, apparently hanged himself with a bed sheet in his cell, the Rio de Janeiro Penitentiary Administration Secretariat said.
An investigation into Da Silva’s death at the Laercio da Costa Pelegrino maximum security prison, known as Bangu I, will be conducted, the secretariat said in a statement.
Da Silva was transferred to Bangu I after his escape attempt failed last Saturday.
Images of the escape attempt by the convicted drug trafficker, known as “Baixinho,” went viral on social media around the world because he dressed like a woman and wore a silicone mask to fool prison guards.
Da Silva took advantage of a visit by his 19-year-old daughter, who is pregnant and did not have to go through the X-ray machines, to try to get out of the prison.
The young woman, who is considered an accomplice in the escape attempt, smuggled in the disguise used by her father, officials said.
Prison guards spotted Da Silva even though he was wearing a mask, sunglasses, a wig and women’s clothing, and prevented him from getting out of Bangu 3, another section of the largest penitentiary complex in Rio de Janeiro.
Bangu 3 houses members of the Red Command, one of the largest criminal organizations in Brazil.
The Red Command is currently involved in turf wars across the country with the First Capital Command (PCC), which is Brazil’s largest criminal organization and whose leaders run it from prison.
The Penitentiary Administration Secretariat released a security video showing Da Silva trying to escape that went viral on social media.
Da Silva and 30 other inmates escaped from prison in 2013, but he was recaptured a month later when police responded to a call about a fight among drug dealers in Angra dos Reis, a city in Rio de Janeiro state.
Penitentiary Administration Secretariat officials told the daily Extra that Da Silva was well behaved and not a troublemaker despite his history of escape attempts.
Da Silva, however, had a reputation on the streets for using extreme violence, officials said.