March 16, 2023 | 1h13
Another 2,000 suspected gang members have been rushed to El Salvador’s revered mega-prison, the country’s president announced on Wednesday as he unveiled more footage of the “impossible to escape” facility.
The new arrivals joined 2,000 other accused gangsters who landed in the new Center for Containment of Terrorism last month as El Salvador seeks to win its battle against raging violent street gangs.
President Nayib Bukele released new footage of the prison and its new prisoners being pushed off buses and into the facility as they are surrounded by heavily armed guards.
Inside the prison, the tattooed men, in white shorts, barefoot and handcuffed, are seen huddled together as they squat and hang their shaved heads before rushing into the cells of the prison.
“There are now 4,000 gang members in the most criticized prison in the world,” Bukele said in a tweet.
The prison has a capacity of 40,000 people.
It has previously been reported that the prison, located 46 miles from the Central American country’s capital, will hold inmates in eight buildings each comprising 32 cells that can hold 100 prisoners each.
Each cell has only two toilets and two sinks.
The prison is considered the largest in the Americas.
Bukele boasted that it was “impossible to escape”.
While Bukele has taken a proactive approach in his war on gangs, the initiative has raised concerns among human rights observers that basic constitutional rights are being violated, including fears that people may be detained without a warrant.
Over the past year, more than 60,000 accused gang members have been captured by the country’s military or police.
The government’s justice and peace minister, Gustavo Villatoro, said suspected gang members would never return to the streets, although around 57,000 of those detained are still awaiting formal charges or a trial.
“They will never return to the communities, neighborhoods, barrios, cities of our beloved El Salvador,” Villatoro said.
With post wires