Listen to this article El Salvador Transfers Gang Members To Mega Prison
El Salvador government has taken a significant step in its ongoing crackdown on crime by transferring thousands of suspected gang members to a newly opened “mega prison.” The transfer has elicited mixed reactions, with human rights organizations criticizing the policy for its potential to target innocent people. Meanwhile, supporters of President Nayib Bukele’s tough stance on crime contend that it is necessary to safeguard the population.
The Transfer of Suspected Gang Members
On Friday, authorities moved approximately 2,000 accused gang members to the newly constructed prison, which has a capacity of 40,000 people, rendering it the largest correctional facility in the Americas. President Nayib Bukele announced the move on Twitter, stating that it would be their “new home” and that they would no longer be able to harm the population. Bukele posted a video showcasing prisoners running through the new facility and entering their cells while wearing white shorts and with shaved heads. Many of them were visibly adorned with gang tattoos.
The Controversial Crackdown on Crime
Bukele’s tough stance on crime has been controversial since its inception. The policy comprises a state of exception that the government declared last year. It suspends certain constitutional rights and enables the authorities to make arrests without a warrant. Private communications are also accessible by the government, and detainees no longer have the right to a lawyer. The policy has resulted in more than 64,000 arrests, which supporters argue is necessary to combat the surge in murders attributed to violent gangs.
The Criticism from Human Rights Organizations
Human rights organizations have criticized the policy for its potential to target innocent people, with at least dozens of individuals dying in police custody. The government has extended the policy multiple times since its initial declaration. The country’s security minister has indicated that it will continue until all criminals are captured. While some Salvadorans support the policy as a necessary measure to tackle crime, others argue that it infringes on civil liberties and could lead to further abuses.
The transfer of suspected gang members to the new “mega prison” in El Salvador is the latest step in a controversial crackdown on crime by President Nayib Bukele. While supporters argue that the tough policy is necessary to combat the surge in murders attributed to violent gangs, human rights organizations have criticized it for potentially targeting innocent people and infringing on civil liberties. As the policy persists, its long-term impact on the country’s security and political landscape remains uncertain.