Weekly Report - 23 January 2020 (WR-20-03)

PARAGUAY: Government shaken by mass prison break

The escape in the early hours of 19 January of 75 inmates from a Paraguayan prison, reportedly through a 15-metre tunnel dug in a bathroom in the middle of the prison compound, sounds like the plotline for a film script. For President Mario Abdo Benítez and his government, however, it is a political and security nightmare. The mass prison break raises questions over institutional corruption, the power of criminal organisations both within and outside of prisons, and the inefficiency of the country’s penitentiary system, mere months after Abdo Benítez had taken a number of measures in response to precisely these problems.

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