El Salvador begins filling its huge prison with 2,000 deportations gang members and criminalsincluding members of MS-13 and Vario-18.
“Today at dawn we transferred the first 2,000 gang members to the Center for Containment of Terrorism (CECOT) in a single operation.” El Salvador President Naive Bukele wrote on Twitter. “This is their new home and they cannot do more harm to the population.”
Bukele also posted a video on Twitter showing a prisoner running into a new facility with his ankles bound in handcuffs and his hands tied behind his back. Prisoners wore white shorts, shaved heads, and many had gangster tattoos.
Prisoners can be seen sitting huddled on the floor of the facility with their hands behind their heads, staring at their feet.
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of New facility for 40,000 people It opened last month after an accelerated construction schedule, doubling El Salvador’s prison capacity in less than a year. “It is impossible to escape”.
Bukele will declare a “state of exception” in March 2022 to crack down on gang members by easing the country’s arrest laws, including eliminating the need for arrest warrants and allowing the government to access citizens’ communications. I gave you permission.
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He pushed for new measures after three days of riots that left 87 people dead. Bukele said he blamed MS-13 for the violence, which authorities claimed they committed. Capture MS-13 Leader who ordered the kills during statewide sweeps.
U.S. prosecutors have linked MS-13 to dozens of murders in the New York metropolitan area and Long Island over the past decade, with terrorist charges against 14 gang leaders announced in 2021. I was. The New York Times reported.
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The Salvadoran Congress has extended the state of exception several times, resulting in the arrest of more than 46,000 alleged gang members. That number, including alleged collaborators, exceeded 62,000 by the end of the year.
A poll last year by Cid Gallup found 91% of those polled supported more aggressive policing, Bloomberg reports.
However, human rights groups claim innocent people have been caught in the policy, and at least dozens of them have died in police custody.
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A woman told The Guardian her husband, brother and nephew were arrested a week ago while unloading a truck for work.Police have yet to explain why they were detained. .
Reuters contributed to this report.