Clauvino da Silva was a Brazilian drug trafficker known as “Shorty” who tried to escape from prison by disguising himself as his teenage daughter.
Silva attempted to break out from Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious prison wearing a silicone mask, a wig, a black bra, and a skin-tight pink t-shirt with an image of donuts on Saturday, The Guardian reported. He was found dead in his jail cell on Tuesday, August 6, three days after the failed escape plot, CNN reports. Authorities said he appears to have taken his own life.
The convicted drug trafficker tried to walk out of the prison disguised as his daughter after visiting hours. His daughter, Ana Gabriele Leandro da Silva, remained inside the prison while her father unsuccessfully tried to flee.
Silva was stopped when he requested his daughter’s ID card at the prison’s entrance. Guards were unconvinced by his disguise and ordered him to strip down in front of the cameras. The video was released over the weekend.
Silva was serving a 73-year prison sentence for his role in Red Command, a notorious Brazilian criminal faction. He had been moved to solitary confinement before his apparent suicide.
His daughter is expected to be charged with abetting prison escape, the Rio news outlet Extra reported. It is not clear if her father’s death will change the fate of his daughter.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Clauvino da Silva Was a Brazilian Gang Leader
Silva, who was known as Baixinho, or “Shorty,” in Brazil was one of the leaders of the Red Command, a powerful criminal faction that controls the drug trade in a large swath of Rio de Janeiro, The Associated Press reported.
The Red Command is Brazil’s oldest criminal group, according to InSight Crime. The group has been a major drug trafficker since partnering with Colombian drug cartels in the 1980s.
By 2005, the group was believed to control more than half of Rio’s most violent areas, according to InSight Crime, though the group later lost some of their reach amid violent conflicts with other gangs.
Silva was serving a 73-year sentence for his role as one of the leaders of The Red Command, The Guardian reported.
2. Silva Wore a Silicone Mask & Disguise During His Escape Attempt
On Sunday, Rio’s State Secretary of Prison Administration released video and photos of Silva dressed in a silicone mask and disguised as his teenage daughter while trying to escape from prison, The AP reported.
Officials say that Silva donned the mask and disguise in order to try to walk out of the prison while leaving his 19-year-old daughter inside the jail.
Silva was stopped on his way out by scrupulous prison guards, who made him remove the disguise on camera.
3. Silva Previously Escaped Prison Through a Sewer
The failed Saturday escape marked Silva’s second attempt to flee the prison in six years. Silva successfully escaped with 30 other prisons through the prison’s sewer system in 2013, Extra reported.
Silva and the other inmates dug a 15-foot tunnel that allowed them to access the prison sewer system. The prisoners would have had to stay submerged in the sewage for around 30 seconds in order to escape, officials told the outlet.
Four of the prisoners were captured immediately but Silva was among 27 others who successfully escaped.
4. Silva Was Caught After His First Escape During an Armed Siege
One month after his 2013 escape, Silva was arrested along with three others while attempting an armed invasion of the shantytown in Rio, The Guardian reported.
The men were arrested with numerous weapons while dressed as members of the Civil Police, Foco Regional reported.
Officials said the group was trying to take control of drug trafficking in the area and had executed a drug trafficker in the town, Angra News reported.
Police seized large quantities of drugs as well as a motorcycle, multiple guns, hundreds of ammo rounds, and police uniforms.
5. Silva’s Daughter Faces 6 Months to 2 Years in Prison
Silva’s daughter, Ana Gabriele, was charged with abetting his escape. The charge carries six months to two years in prison, according to Extra.
Silva is not expected to face additional criminal charges because he did not incite violence but will face “disciplinary sanctions.”
Seven other visitors, including a pregnant woman suspected of smuggling the disguise Silva wore into the prison, are also under investigation.