CCTV footage has captured the moment one of Colombia's most notorious drug lords escaped a high-security prison by walking through an open door.
Juan Castro, a gang leader better known as Matamba, was being held at the maximum-security La Picota jail in the capital city Bogotá when he escaped overnight on Friday (18 March), and is now said to be on the run.
Matamba, who is believed to run as much as 20 percent of the cocaine shipments from Colombia's Nariño province as a member of the powerful Gulf Clan organisation, was reported missing after guards noticed he wasn't in his cell during a morning roll call.
But rather than taking inspiration from The Shawshank Redemption, Matamba's daring escape was soon revealed to be suspiciously more lowkey.
CCTV footage showed the drug lord strolling through an open door to leave the prison wing while wearing a guard's uniform.
The footage has caused outrage in Colombia, with the country's President Iván Duque announcing a full reform of the prison system in the wake of the escape.
A guard suspected of assisting Matamba by providing him with the uniform and leaving the doors unlocked has been arrested, while the director of the La Picota jail and more than 50 guards on shift at the time of the breakout have been suspended.
Matamba has been in jail since May 2021 following his arrest on drugs charges, and is currently wanted for extradition to the United States.
Incredibly, this isn't the first time that Matamba has pulled off a dramatic escape from behind bars.
In 2018, the gang leader famously faked his own death while on medical leave, using the opportunity to undergo plastic surgery to change his appearance and going into hiding under a false name.
The ruse was eventually rumbled last year, when police caught wind of Matamba's location and were able to recapture him as he was preparing to attend his own birthday celebrations.
Colombia's prison service has faced several allegations of corruption over recent years, with the director of another jail sacked just last month, after it emerged a high profile businessmen serving time in the jail was being ferried by prison guards to take private meetings.
Words: Hannah Smith
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