El Salvador and Cuba are two of the countries with the most prisoners in the world

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A report by the University of London warns that there are more than 38,250 prisoners in the Central American country and around 57,100 detainees on the Caribbean island

El Salvador and Cuba are two of the countries with the most prisoners in the world

El Salvador and Cuba, the two Latin American countries with the largest number of prisoners (Bloomberg)

Roundups of tens of thousands of suspected gang members have given El Salvador the highest per capita prison population in the world. According to the World Prison Brief report by Birkbeck College, University of London, the percentage of the prison population in this Central American country is higher than that of the United States and Cuba.

Last year, the government of President Nayib Bukele declared a state of emergency and built a gigantic prison complex to control gang violence. Human rights groups have criticized the lack of due process, but the crackdown is popular with the public.

The security authorities of El Salvador have reported more than 60,400 arrests under the emergency regime, in force since the end of March after an escalation of murders attributed to gangs, which would represent close to 1% of the total population of the country. According to the latest Multiple Purpose Household Survey, the total population of El Salvador is 6,325,827.

According to Zaira Navas, legal head of the humanitarian organization Cristosal, “before the start of the emergency regime, El Salvador already had a high overcrowding and a high rate of overcrowding” in prisons. Navas explained to the news agency EFE that “by 2021 the prisons reported an installed capacity of 32,000 people,” but the number of prisoners was “much higher.”

< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/el-salvador-and-cuba-are-two-of-the-countries-with-the-most-prisoners-in-the-world-1a1e1fa. jpg" alt="El Salvador and Cuba are two of the countries with the most prisoners in the world" />

General view of the construction of the prison complex known as the "Centro de Reclusión del Terrorismo" which, according to Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, is designed to house 40,000 inmates, in Tecoluca, El Salvador (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

According to the University of London report, in the Currently there are 605 prisoners for every 100,000 people in El Salvador. In other words, there are more than 38,250 incarcerated in the Central American country.

And in Cuba there are 510 prisoners for every 100,000 people, according to the report. In other words, considering that the island has a population of 11.2 million inhabitants according to 2021 World Bank data, around 57,100 people would be incarcerated.

Political prisoners in Cuba< /h2>

The NGO Prisoners Defenders (PD) denounced last Thursday that there are currently 1,057 political prisoners in Cuba, 29 new ones in December.

“Each month, Cuba continues to harass, threaten, summon and detain thousands of people, and imprison and criminally prosecute an average of more than 30 new political prisoners per month.The people live in fear and gagged. Cuba has become a great prison for the vast majority of the citizenry. Despite the miseries that Cuba is experiencing, the enormous repression makes Cubans live with genuine fear for their security and limits their most fundamental freedoms to a very high degree,” denounced the organization, based in Madrid, in its latest monthly report.< /p>

El Salvador and Cuba are two of the countries with the most prisoners in the world

File photo of the double exterior fence of the Combinado del East in Havana, Cuba (EFE)

PD criticized the fact that these prisoners are subjected to “judicial sentences or provisions to limit freedom by prosecutors without any judicial supervision, in flagrant violation of international law and due process.” Of the total number of detainees, “190 protesters have been accused of sedition and at least 175 have been sentenced to an average of more than 10 years in prison each,” the report detailed. It also added that “938 political prisoners present on the list have been sentenced to sentences of up to life imprisonment in 18 cases.”

In addition, the PD report detailed that “at least 123 women (including several transgender women) still have criminal charges and political and conscience convictions.” “All trans women in prison have been and are incarcerated among men, suffering indescribable situations for their sexual condition”, she denounced.

(With information from Bloomberg and EFE)

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