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El Salvador’s Bukele Cracks Down: 2000 Gang Members Moved to New Mega Prison

Daniel Kim Views  

Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador, known for its aggressive anti-gang policies, has announced the relocation of over 2000 gang members to a large detention center. According to Reuters on the 12th, Bukele, who began his second term on the 1st, stated on his X, “This morning, we transferred over 2000 gang members from three prisons to the Terrorist Detention Center (CECOT).” He added, “Those criminals will be isolated from the outside world and will pay for their crimes against our people,” sharing images of inmates being transferred in uniform with their hands bound.

CECOT, where the gang members were transferred, is a large-scale maximum-security prison located in a remote area near Tecoluca. It was constructed on a site spanning 165,000 square meters with a building area of 230,000 square meters. The CECOT can accommodate up to 40,000 inmates and operates under the strict surveillance of heavily armed guards and 24-hour lighting. Inmates must eat with their hands due to the risk of weapons and are only allowed to exercise with their bare hands for a mere 30 minutes a day outside their cells.

While human rights groups have criticized Bukele’s tough-on-crime approach as a “black hole of human rights” and an “annihilation of human rights,” it has been deemed an adequate policy in El Salvador, often referred to as the “murder capital.” Since he declared war on crime, the murder rate in El Salvador has decreased by 56.8% in 2022. President Bukele received overwhelming support from locals concerned about the rise of violent organizations and was successfully re-elected in the February elections with 82.98% of the votes. However, criticism of the mass arrests continues. According to a report by the human rights group Cristosal, 174 inmates died in custody due to torture and violence within a year after he carried out mass arrests.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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