Gangster who dressed as girl in foiled jailbreak found dead
The Brazilian prisoner who tried to walk out of jail dressed as his daughter has been found dead in his cell.
Convicted Rio drug dealer Clauvino da Silva (42), who was known as Shorty, was serving a decades-long sentence when he was caught trying to break out of prison on Saturday disguised as his daughter.
He was wearing an eerie plastic mask, long black wig and women's clothes, including a bra.
A video released by prison authorities showed him slowly removing his dodgy disguise.
The images went viral, shining a light on Brazil's long-standing struggle with its violent, overcrowded prison system - the third biggest in the world.
In a gruesome twist, Rio prison officials said Da Silva had been found dead in his cell in a high-security unit in the state's Bangu penitentiary.
"The inmate appears to have taken his own life," the prison said in a statement.
It added that an investigation had been opened.
Da Silva's death is an embarrassment for prison authorities, who had initially hailed their actions in thwarting his bizarre escape plan.
He is the latest prisoner to die in Brazil's jails, which have become a major headache for new tough-on-crime president Jair Bolsonaro.
Last week, at least 57 people died after a prison riot broke out in the northern state of Para.
More than 50 inmates died in similar circumstances in May during prison riots in the northern state of Amazonas.
Brazil's jail population has surged eight-fold in three decades to around 750,000.
Prison gangs, originally formed to protect inmates, have come to wield vast power that reaches far beyond jail.
The gangs are linked to bank heists, drug trafficking and gun-running, with jailed kingpins running their empires via smuggled mobile phones.