He Government of El Salvador transferred 2,000 suspected gang members to a new prison that has a capacity for some 40,000 people, according to President Nayib Bukele.
“Today at dawn, in a single operation, we transferred the first 2 thousand gang members to the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT)”, the president published on his social networks.
He added: “This will be their new house, where they will live for decades, mixed, without being able to do more harm to the population.”
Despite the fact that the Government of El Salvador did not notify about the transfers, dozens of relatives mobilized to the La Esperanza prison, known as Mariona, in San Salvador. According to EFE, some 150 people gathered in this place and several buses left the premises.
Bukele inaugurated the CECOT at the end of January and the Minister of Public Works, Romeo Rodriguez, told the president that this “would become the largest prison in all of America” and that “it would be impossible for an inmate to leave” the compound, which has 23 hectares of construction.
The construction of this prison occurred amid criticism from the opposition, which has pointed out a lack of transparency, mainly due to the approval in the Legislative Assembly, dominated by the ruling party, of a law that allowed bypassing the usual controls in state works.
At the beginning of February, Amnesty International (AI) expressed concern for this new prison in El Salvador, and expressed his “deep concern” given that “the construction of this new prison could mean the continuity and escalation of these abuses.”
According to official figures, under the emergency regime, approved last March after an escalation of murders, more than 64,000 people have been arrested, whom the government accuses of being gang members and of whom have been released. more than 3 thousand 300.
Salvadoran humanitarian organizations and the Office for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH) They have received more than 7,900 complaints of outrages, most of them for arbitrary arrests.
The authorities attribute the drop in homicides to this measure and the Territorial Control Plan, which according to official accounts they were 496 in 2022, 57 percent less than in 2021.