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Leader of infamous Mexican cartel dies in prison after contracting Covid-19

Leader of infamous Mexican cartel dies in prison after contracting Covid-19
Notorious Mexican cartel leader Moises Escamilla May has died after contracting the novel coronavirus while serving a lengthy sentence in maximum-security prison on a raft of serious drugs and weapons charges.

Escamilla headed one of the factions of the Los Zetas cartel – a notorious criminal gang in Mexico, involved in cross-border cocaine smuggling as well as kidnapping, sex trafficking and extortion.

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According to the Jalisco State Health Secretariat, Escamilla contracted the virus on May 6 and passed away two days later from respiratory complications believed to be linked to his excessive weight. He was over a decade into a 37-year sentence after being convicted of a range of serious offenses including organized crime, drug charges, possessing firearms, and involvement in the decapitation of 12 people in 2008.

Earlier this month, the UN warned about the “chronic” state of prisons in Latin America, which are particularly overcrowded – sometimes at five times their recommended capacity – making them breeding grounds for the spread of coronavirus. Since the start of the viral outbreak, there have been several incidents of prisoners protesting anti-sanitary conditions in their facilities, including a bloody riot in La Modelo prison in Columbia in March in which more than 20 people were killed and over 80 injured.

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The Puente Grande maximum security prison in which Escamilla was incarcerated has reported 74 confirmed Covid-19 cases to date, according to health officials, however it’s unclear how many of the sick prisoners have died from the disease.

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