El Salvador moves 2,000 alleged gang members to newly-made ‘mega prison’: Watch | World News - Hindustan Times
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El Salvador moves 2,000 alleged gang members to newly-made ‘mega prison’: Watch

BySnehashish Roy
Feb 26, 2023 05:40 AM IST

A significant number of suspected gang members have been transferred to a recently opened ‘mega prison’, according to the country's President and populist leader Nayib Bukele.

El Salvador is carrying out a ‘war’ against country's infamous gangs and, as a part of the contentious operation, has arrested over 60,000 suspected gang members. The latest move by the country's government has led to overpopulating Central American nation's prisons.

Handout picture released by the Press Secretary of the Presidency of El Salvador showing police officers keeping watch during the arrival of inmates belonging to the MS-13 and 18 gangs to the new prison "Terrorist Confinement Centre" (CECOT), in Tecoluca, 74 km southeast of San Salvador, on February 24, 2023.(AFP)
Handout picture released by the Press Secretary of the Presidency of El Salvador showing police officers keeping watch during the arrival of inmates belonging to the MS-13 and 18 gangs to the new prison "Terrorist Confinement Centre" (CECOT), in Tecoluca, 74 km southeast of San Salvador, on February 24, 2023.(AFP)

Also read: EL Salvador, first country with crypto as legal tender now wants to issue bitcoin-backed bonds

As a result, a significant number of suspected gang members have been transferred to a recently opened ‘mega prison’, according to the country's President and populist leader Nayib Bukele. He tweeted that around 2,000 suspected gang members have been moved to the newly opened Centre for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT).

"Today at dawn, in a single operation, we transferred the first 2,000 gang members to the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT). This will be their new house, where they will live for decades, mixed up, unable to do any more harm to the population," he said in Spanish and shared a video of stripped down prisoners being moved into the new prison.

The video shows prisoners, wearing white shorts and heads shaved, were running into cells. Many could be seen having what it appear to be tattoos of their respective gangs. A part of the video clip shows how the administration was taking the prisoners to the CECOT in a cavalry of vehicle. They were made to sit in herds before they were being taken to dedicated cells of the 40,000-capacity prison.

Last year, Bukele passed a state of exception taking help from his allies in the country's Congress, suspending certain constitutional rights following a surge in murders that are allegedly committed by gangs. It allows to make arrests without warrants, avail government to access private communications and snatching detainees to have the right to a lawyer.

Human rights bodies have alleged that the government caught innocent people under the policy and several have died in police custody.

However, the government's move has been widely welcomed by the country's citizens.

(With agency inputs)

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