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Cartel leader who escaped prison in Ciudad Juarez Sunday has been killed in shootout

A cartel leader who escaped prison in northern Mexico on Sunday was killed by Mexican security forces Thursday.

Four days after his escape, Ernesto Alfredo Piñon de la Cruz, known as “El Neto,” was killed during a shootout with Mexican armed forces in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, officials say.

The alleged leader of the Mexicles gang Piñon was one of at least 25 prisoners who escaped during an armed attackon the jail Sunday, which also left 17 people dead.

A multi-agency manhunt ensued, and an additional seven people were killed in a confrontation the following day.

Officials say Piñon was shot and captured after a pursuit and died in custody.

He had allegedly lived in a VIP zone inside the prison, where federal authorities found stashes of drugs and money after the mass breakout.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.