LIMA – Peruvian police on Wednesday captured seven escaped prisoners and found another one dead near the border with Bolivia.
The prisoners were all from the group that escaped Sunday from the Challapalca prison in southern Peru.
In a communique, the police said Wednesday that on Tuesday they had gotten into a shootout with the fugitives and that four of them were wounded by gunfire, captured and taken to a hospital in the city of Puno.
Due to the difficulty with communications in the remote region, there was as yet no information whether the inmate who was found dead died from hypothermia, a bullet wound or some other cause, a police spokesman told Efe.
On Sunday morning, 17 highly dangerous prisoners managed to flee from Challapalca with the help of accomplices who were waiting outside the facility in two trucks.
At this point, only two prisoners remain unaccounted for.
“The police are staying on alert to locate and capture the two fugitives, around whom the cordon is tightening so they can be placed at the disposal of the appropriate authorities,” the communique said.
Bolivian Government Minister Carlos Romero on Wednesday told Radio Programas del Peru, or RPP, that the police in his country provided support in the capture of the fugitives by reinforcing the frontier with an eye toward preventing them from crossing into the neighboring country.
Romero said that the seven inmates were apprehended in a very rugged Andean area almost devoid of traffic.
The Peruvian police deployed 3,000 officers around the country to search for the escapees, with army personnel also being detailed for the search operations.
Among the first group of fugitives captured on Monday was Jose Torres, known by the nickname of “El Burro,” the most hardened of the prisoners and serving a sentence for murder and aggravated robbery, among other charges.
At the time of the escape, the prison housed 129 inmates but had only 13 guards. EFE