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Colombian cartel boss who walked out of prison cell gunned down by police

Juan Castro, better known by his nickname 'Matamba', had been on-the-run after escaping from La Picota maximum-security jail
Matamba

Matamba

Niall Donald

The leader of one of Colombia's narco cartels has been killed by police, the country's president has announced.

Juan Castro, better known by his nickname 'Matamba', had been on-the-run after escaping from La Picota maximum-security jail in Bogotá in March.

During the escape, CCTV footage showed the feared crime boss calmly walking out of his cell dressed in the uniform of a prison guard.

His escape sparked a major investigation in Columbia following claims a number of guards must have been in on his plan.

CCTV footage released after his escape showed Matamba calmly walking out through a door which had been left ajar.

The prison's directors and more than 50 guards who were on shift at the time of his escape were suspended.

Matamba was regarded as the leader of a break-away faction of the notorious Gulf Clan cartel.

He is believed to have masterminded up to 20 per cent of the cocaine shipments from Nariño province.

His faction, called Cordillera Sur, are believed to have been paying off a number of high-ranking members of the Colombian military.

Those on the gang's payroll reportedly tipped the gang off about impending raids and in some cases targeted their rivals.

Speaking last night, President Iván Duque said that Matamba had been "neutralised" in the city of Bolívar, in northern Colombia.

"I want to inform the country that, in an operation carried out by our Police in coordination with the Prosecutor's Office, in Bolívar (Santander), Juan Larinson Castro Estupiñán, alias 'Matamba', former leader of the 'Clan del Golfo' and one of the most dangerous criminals, was neutralized. wanted in the country," Colombian President Iván Duque said on social media.


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