The government of El Salvador has moved another 2,000 suspected gang members to a new mega prison - and again distributed a video with provocative images of the controversial procedure. Conservative President Nayib Bukele wrote on Twitter on Wednesday (local time) that the total number of inmates in “the most criticized prison in the world” has risen to 4,000, where he also posted the video.
In the feature film-like shots with suspenseful music, long lines of tattooed inmates can be seen who, barefoot and clad only in white shorts, quickly enter the detention center in the center of the Central American country and have to sit close together on the floor.
On February 24, a video of the first mass transfer to Tecoluca, around 75 kilometers southeast of the capital San Salvador, caused a sensation. The left-wing Colombian President Gustavo Petro compared the institution to a concentration camp. The prison, which opened in February, is said to house up to 40,000 gang members.
The state of emergency in the fight against the violent so-called maras has been in force in the country with around six million inhabitants for almost a year. A number of fundamental rights have been restricted. More than 64,000 suspected gang members were arrested. The murder rate has recently fallen significantly, but human rights activists speak of arbitrary arrests.