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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, an Arizona native, reports from KJZZ’s bureau in Hermosillo, Sonora, focusing on business and economic relationships between Arizona and northern Mexico.Prior to joining KJZZ, Kendal worked at the Nogales International, reporting on border and immigration issues, local government, education and business. While working on her master’s degree at University of Arizona School of Journalism, she did stints with the Arizona Daily Star and the Tico Times in Costa Rica, and completed a thesis project about women art activists in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands.In her pre-journalist life, Kendal was a teacher, first helping Spanish high school students learn English, then heading to Tucson to teach fourth grade.When she’s not in the newsroom, Kendal enjoys getting outside for a hike or a swim, catching a good movie, hanging out with family and friends, and eating great food.