“This will be their house where they will live for decades” This is how the president of The Savior, Nayib Bulekethe day his mega-prison opens with the entry of the first 2,000 gang members Billed as the “largest in America” mega-prison.
The new infrastructure is designed to house 40,000 criminals and was inaugurated this month by the Salvadoran president. Bukele has been waging a “war” against organized crime groups since March 2021.
The gigantic prison has come under harsh criticism for violating human rights and going against international standards. It includes confinement pavilions with metallic cabins and “punishment cells”. 74 kilometers from the country’s capital, the center also stands out for its rigorous access controls.
Despite the fact that the Government did not notify about the transfers, dozens of relatives mobilized to La Esperanza prison, known as Mariona, in San Salvador. According to EFE, some 150 people gathered in this place and several buses left the premises.
Bukele inaugurated the CECOT at the end of January.
The construction of this prison occurred amid criticism from the opposition, which has pointed out a lack of transparency, mainly due to the approval in the Legislative Assembly, dominated by the ruling party, of a law that allowed bypassing the usual controls in state works.
At the beginning of February, International Amnesty (AI) expressed its concern about this new prison in El Salvador, and expressed its “deep concern” given that “the construction of this new prison could mean the continuity and escalation of these abuses.”
According to official figures, under the emergency regime, approved last March after an escalation of murders, more than 64,000 people have been detained, whom the government accuses of being gang members, and of whom more have been released. of 3,300.
Salvadoran humanitarian organizations and the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office (PDDH) have received more than 7,900 complaints of abuses, most for arbitrary detentions.
The authorities attribute the drop in homicides to this measure and the Territorial Control Plan, which according to official accounts were 496 in 2022, 57% less than in 2021.
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