Slain prison guard honored; Inmate’s death investigated

Family of slain prison guard Francis Morales Fallas is pictured during a Mass in his honor Sunday. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo by Guillermo Solano

The Judicial Investigating Organization now has the case of a notorious prisoner who was found dead in his maximum security cell Sunday morning.

Coincidentally, the same morning at the Catedral Metropolitana security officials were honoring the prison guard who died in the latest jailbreak attempt.

Dead in the cell was Jovel Guillermo Araya Ramírez, who helped engineer the May 11 attempt at the La Reforma maximum security unit. He and other prisoners killed another guard in an earlier successful breakout Oct. 9, 2006.

Naturally suspicion fell on prison workers, but officials said that Araya suffered from several medical problems. His body was removed to the judicial morgue where autopsy results will be available in a week. Cruz Roja said there were no visible signs of trauma on the body. But that did not stop his family from venting their suspicions.

Two prisoners died in the May 11 attempt in a firefight with tactical squad members.

At the cathedral security officials presented the wife of Francis Morales Fallas a medal. She received on behalf of her husband the Cruz Escarlata or scarlet cross. The medal is for someone who died in the line of duty.

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