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El Salvador: Another 2,000 inmates move to ‘America’s biggest prison’ – Photos and videos

A second group of about 2,000 alleged thugs joined yesterday Wednesday in “America’s Largest Prison”built in El Salvador as part of the “war” on crime declared a year ago by President Naguib Bukele.

“During new business, we transferred a second group of two thousand gang members to the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (Centro de Confinamiento del Terrorismo, CECOT). Now four thousand gangsters live in the prison that has been criticized more than any other in the world,” Mr Bukele said in a sarcastic tone on Twitter.

Detention conditions in the giant prison in Tecoluca – 74 kilometers southeast of the capital San Salvador – have been denounced by human rights organizations.

Its president Salvador uploaded photos and videos of the transfer of prisoners, who were previously in Isalco prison, while Defense Minister Rene Francis Merino clarified that the prisoners were guarded en route by about 1,200 members of the armed forces and that the convoy was accompanied by three military helicopters.

The first group of two thousand alleged “mara” members joined CECOT on February 24, according to AFP and the Athens News Agency.

The giant prison, equipped with technologically advanced means of surveillance, was inaugurated in early February. It was built to house most of the 64,000-plus alleged gang members behind bars after the state apparatus’ offensive against the Mara was launched, thanks to the exemption regime imposed by parliament at the behest of President Bukele.

In the visual material uploaded by Mr. Bukele, prisoners are depicted in chains, with tattoos on their bodies – an indication that they belong to the two main gangs in the country, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 -, without wearing anything even in the torso not even on the ends, only in white underwear.

Despite the criticism of human rights NGOs, who speak of heaps of abuses, the “war on crime” gives the 40-year-old president Bukele dizzying popularity.

The non-governmental organization Cristosal announced last week that it had appealed against El Salvador to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), denouncing the “systematic violation” of the fundamental rights of 66 people arrested as part of the “war on crime”.

“The rights to freedom, to a fair trial, to defense by a lawyer and to be tried by an independent and impartial judge were violated,” said Abraham Abrego, an executive of Cristosal.

The exemption status allows arrests without warrants and suspends constitutional rights. More than 64,500 people have been arrested as part of Mr Bukele’s “war” in the last year.

Source: News Beast

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