Latin America: New mass transfers of prisoners in El Salvador
New mass transfers of prisoners in El Salvador
In the fight against gang violence, El Salvador’s conservative government is restricting a number of fundamental rights. At the same time, the prisons are filling up – the procedure has been sharply criticized.
The government El Salvador’s moved another 2,000 suspected gang members to a new mega prison – and once again distributed a video with provocative images of the controversial procedure. Conservative President Nayib Bukele wrote on Twitter yesterday (local time) that the total number of inmates in “the world’s most criticized prison” has risen to 4,000, where he also posted the video.
In the feature film-like shots with suspenseful music, long lines of tattooed inmates can be seen who, barefoot and clad only in white shorts, quickly enter the detention center in the center of the Central American country and have to sit close together on the floor.
Comparison with concentration camps
On February 24th had a video of the first mass transfer to Tecoluca, around 75 kilometers south-east of the capital San Salvador. The left-wing Colombian President Gustavo Petro compared the institution to a concentration camp. The prison, which opened in February, is said to house up to 40,000 gang members.
The state of emergency in the fight against the violent so-called maras has been in force in the country with around six million inhabitants for almost a year. A number of fundamental rights have been restricted. More than 64,000 suspected gang members were arrested. The murder rate has recently fallen significantly, but human rights activists speak of arbitrary arrests.