(CNN Spanish) — The General Directorate of Penal Centers of El Salvador transferred the first group of inmates to the new mega-prison built by the government this Friday morning, reported President Nayib Bukele.
These are the first 2,000 prisoners to be taken to the so-called Terrorism Confinement Center, with a capacity for 40,000 inmates, built in Tecoluca, San Vicente department, some 74 kilometers from San Salvador.
“This will be their new house, where they will live for decades, mixed, without being able to do more harm to the population,” Bukele said in a tweet. The president himself presented in his tweet a video edited and set to music of the transfer of the prisoners in dozens of buses from the Izalco Prison, some 57 kilometers from the capital.
The transfer was carried out under extensive security arrangements by the Police and the Army, which included the use of armored vehicles and helicopters with snipers, the authorities reported.
In each of the eight modules built in the gigantic prison there will be 5,000 prisoners and, in each cell, just over 100 inmates, who will not have the opportunity to leave, unless they must participate in a hearing that will take place through videoconference, in the same compound, the authorities told CNN during a guided tour in early February, after the mega-prison was inaugurated by Bukele.
Call to improve prison conditions
The Committee Against Torture of the United Nations Organization urged the government of El Salvador in November to reduce overcrowding in prisons and ensure dignified treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. Likewise, he asked to carry out a strict separation between prisoners without a final sentence and those who already have a sentence handed down by a judge.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and local human rights organizations have also criticized what they consider to be violations of the population’s rights with the implementation of the exception regime imposed by the government to combat gangs. They have even unsuccessfully requested the repeal of the emergency regime. The Salvadoran president has said that he will continue with the security policy because he has allowed a reduction in homicides.
Since the end of March 2022, when the emergency regime was implemented in response to a surge in violence that left 62 homicides in a single day, the Government of El Salvador has captured more than 64,000 people, according to security authorities. public.