He escaped from a Montevideo jail on Monday with 52-year-old Rocco Morabito, who has been sentenced in Italy to 30 years in prison for drug trafficking. Morabito has been described as a key figure in the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta mob, one of the world's biggest movers of cocaine.
Morabito has been on the run from Italy since 1994. He was arrested at a hotel in Montevideo in 2017, although he had been living a life of luxury in the seaside city of Punta del Este under an alias for about a decade and using a false Brazilian passport
Italy's ambassador to Montevideo, Gianni Piccato, said Morabito recapture is important because "he's one of the heavyweight representatives" of the mob. Uruguay's government has said that Morabito and the three other inmates escaped through the prison roof in the dead of the night, then made their way "through a neighboring farm and robbed its owner."
General Prosecutor Jorge Díaz told local Channel 12 Wednesday that the escape showed that, "there's a series of indicators that things went really wrong." He added that what concerns him is "possible police corruption."
Díaz told The Associated Press that the security cameras at the prison were not working when Morabito escaped. The other two remaining fugitives face charges in Brazil and Argentina. The escape prompted the resignation of the director of Uruguay's prison system.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said this week that Morabito's escape is "disconcerting and serious," and vowed to shed full light on the escape, ask for immediate explanations from the Uruguayan government, and "hunt down Morabito, wherever he is, to throw him in prison as he deserves."