According to police reports, escaped prisoners Víctor Schillaci and brothers Martín and Cristian Lanatta were caught in a shootout with local police this afternoon near the town of San Carlos, Santa Fe Province, before escaping (once again).
This is the 11th day of a nationwide manhunt for the fugitives, who escaped General Alvear maximum security prison in Buenos Aires Province on December 27th (a feat they accomplished in 15 minutes and armed with a toy gun). They were serving life sentences for the 2008 “General Rodríguez triple crime,” for which they were found guilty of murdering members of their drug trafficking organization who were allegedly planning on ditching the business to start their own methamphetamine manufacturing trade with their former partners’ contact list. Which, in the narco world, is clearly not cool.
Federal Prosecutor Jorge Di Lello told press today he believes the men have been able to move as they have due to support from “a criminal organization.”
“We’re looking into the possibility that there’s some kind of support system allowing them to move about and not be caught by the police,” he said.
The triple murder case made it back to the national spotlight in November when journalist Jorge Lanata, a virulent anti-Kirchnerite, interviewed Martín Lanatta (no relation), who accused former Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández of being the mastermind behind the murders. Fernández was running for Buenos Aires Province governor at the time and largely blamed his defeat to Lanata’s “expose,” which he maintains is false.
For a complete account of the escape and the triple crime, check out Demian Bio’s very thorough article.