Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “biggest in America”

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The prison was built in an isolated rural area near Tecoluca, 74 kilometers southeast of San Salvador. The details

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

The mega-prison inaugurated by Bukele (Presidential House)

The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who launched a “war” against the gangs, presented this Tuesday the “largest prison in the Americas”, where it will lock up 40,000 suspected gang members.

The mega-prison was built in an isolated rural area in a valley near Tecoluca, 74 kilometers southeast of San Salvador, and was inspected by Bukele himself.

The 166-hectare property has a dozen pavilions occupying 23 hectares, explained the Minister of Public Works, Romeo Rodríguez, on a national radio and television network.

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

President Bukele during the tour of the prison (Presidential House)

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

The mega-prison was built in an isolated rural area in a valley near Tecoluca, 74 kilometers southeast of San Salvador (Presidential House)

Called by the government “Centro of Confinement of Terrorism”, has surveillance systems with video circuits and scanners to review those who enter.

“Any person belonging to a terrorist structure is the one who is going to enter this confinement center,” said the Vice Minister of Justice and Public Security, Osiris Luna.

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

The 166-hectare property has a dozen pavilions that occupy 23 hectares (Presidential House)

It is “the largest prison in all of America ”, highlighted Minister Rodríguez.

The prison has a 2.1 kilometer perimeter wall, which will be guarded day and night by 600 soldiers and 250 police officers. Inside, security will be in charge of guards from the General Directorate of Penal Centers.

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

The prison has a 2.1 kilometer perimeter wall, which will be guarded day and night by 600 soldiers and 250 police officers (Presidential House)

The cells are made of reinforced concrete and they have thick steel bars. The prison has its own wells to extract drinking water.

Luna anticipated that the inmates will have to work in this prison.

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

The gymnasium that the prisoners will have (Presidential House)

Bukele stated that previous Salvadoran governments “had gang members [in prison] with prostitutes, with PlayStation [equipment], with screens, with cell phones, with computers […], rewarding the offender.”

The president did not specify when the first of the almost 63,000 suspected gang members detained in the framework of the war against gangs will be transferred to the mega-prison.

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

The cells are made of reinforced concrete and have thick steel bars (Presidential House)

The massive arrests, criticized by human rights organizations, are protected by a regime of exception that allows arrests without a warrant. It was approved by Congress at the request of Bukele in response to a homicidal escalation that claimed the lives of 87 people from March 25 to 27.

Nayib Bukele inaugurated a mega-prison for 40,000 gang members in El Salvador: they say it is the “largest in America”

One of the gates of the prison (Presidential House)

On Friday, the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced that in Salvadoran prisons there is a “extreme overcrowding” as a result of the arrests of suspects without a warrant.

The twenty prisons in the country currently have a capacity for 30,000 prisoners.

Bukele had initially said that the mega-prison would be finished in September. The authorities have not explained the causes of this delay.

(With information from AFP)

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