International organizations warned about the new jail for gang members built in El Salvador
The main complaints point to the fact that Bukele does not have clear plans to guarantee security in the country
International organizations warned about the new jail built in El Salvador (AP)
This week the government of Nayib Bukele celebrated the construction of a mega-prison in which it will detain thousands of gang members that still has to be arrested. However, several international organizations expressed concern about this and denounced the crude conditions that the inmates will face.
The Terrorism Confinement Center (CECOT) is a huge prison complex with a capacity for 40,000 inmates located in the municipality of Tecoluca, in the department of San Vicente, far from urban areas and 74 kilometers from the capital. It is the largest prison in Latin America and has state-of-the-art technology, ready to prevent escapes of inmates.
The leaders of the gangs will be located there, including the heads of the cliques, their members and collaborators. “All those who belong to terrorist groups,” summed up the director of Penal Centers, Osiris Luna, enthusiastic about continuing the fight against gangs that has led the Executive to < b>allocate more resources to this than to the construction of schools or hospitals.
The new prison has state-of-the-art technology and space for 40,000 inmates (REUTERS)
The center has a distribution and spaces specially designed to punish these criminals, which has been considered excessive by several human rights organizations that have indicated that this will not solve security problems in the long term .
The prisoners who are transferred to this jail will not have any contact with the outside world and will only leave their cells for hearings with the courts of justice that will be held virtually from a hall on the premises.
Amnesty International was among the first to speak out in opposition to the work, expressing its “deep concern”. There is “a clear pattern of human rights violations under the current public security approach in El Salvador,” they denounced and added that “the construction of this new prison could mean the continuity and the clarification of these abuses”.
AI pointed out that “the construction of this new prison could mean continuity and the clarification of abuses” to human rights (REUTERS)
On the other hand, they stressed that with this prison “the authorities plan to continue to apply a public security policy of mass incarceration” and “this does not address the causes and roots of the violence” so “it will not serve to overcome the problem in the long term”.
This argument was joined by Carolina Jiménez Sandoval, president of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). ), and wrote on his Twitter account: “With this prison, the government of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador shows that it does not have clear plans to prevent crime. Their main option is a state of permanent 'exception' in which human rights violations are committed”.
Tweet by Carolina Jiménez Sandoval
In this sense, AI urged the Bukele government to “change the course” since “gang violence in the country must be addressed comprehensively and guaranteeing the human rights of the entire population” .
For his part, Father Andreu Oliva, rector of the José Simeón Cañas Catholic University (UCA), agreed that the prison is solely focused on permanently punishing inmates. “I was shocked to see punishment cells where people are going to be intotal darkness, in total isolation, sleeping on a cement board,” he said.
To this, the fervent critic of the course taken by the Government in terms of security, added that the space does not have a library or classrooms so that gang members can train and change their criteria to, thus , abandon the criminal life.
Father Andreu Oliva denounced that the prison is solely focused on permanently punishing inmates (AP )
This mega prison work was announced a few days after Congress ordered the state of emergency on March 26, 2022which is still in force in the country after being extended ten times. The measure arose as an urgent response to the wave of violence that was only escalating and had left 62 homicides in just one day.
Thanks to this, According to official figures, 62,975 people have already been detained for being linked to gangs and only 3,313 have been releasedagain since his guilt could not be verified. However, critics of this measure have pointed out that the current regime limits freedom of association and suspends the right of people to be duly informed about the reasons for their arrest. Neither are they allowed the assistance of a lawyer to face their criminal proceedings.
Nayib Bukele celebrates the arrest of 62,975 people suspected of having ties to the gangs (REUTERS)
Thus, in the past, various national and international organizations have denounced the situation in the country along with the massive violations of due process, overcrowding prisons due to arbitrary arrests and the deaths of people in the custody of the authorities.
Meanwhile, the Bukele government is confident that this The path is the correct one in the fight against the gangs and they justify their actions with the metrics and surveys that show a high level of citizen support in what regarding security policies. They have even highlighted the reduction in the homicide rate by 57% during the last year.
(With information from EFE and AP)< /i>