El Salvador’s president announced Wednesday that 2,000 more suspected gang members had been transferred to a new mega-prison in the country, according to Anadolu Agency. ‘Today, in a new operation, we transferred the second group of 2,000 gang members to the Terrorism Confinement Center,’ Nayib Bukele said on Twitter. The largest prison in the Americas was built to accommodate more than 40,000 suspected gang members targeted in Bukele’s war on crime. Videos published by the president show the heavily tattooed and barefoot men dressed in white shorts being loaded onto buses and then being moved into the prison with their hands cuffed and their heads bowed. Defense Minister Rene Francis Marino said 1,200 soldiers took part in the security operation. ‘This brings the total number of gang members in the world’s most criticized prison to 4,000,’ said Bukele. Gustavo Villatoro, the government’s justice minister, vowed that the suspected gang members ‘will never return’ to the streets. ‘They are never going to return to the communities, the neighborhoods, the barrios, the cities of our beloved El Salvador,’ Villatoro said. The first group of 2,000 suspected gang members was transferred to the prison in February. Bukele’s ‘war against gangs’ has been strongly criticized by rights organizations which say the arrests constitute a serious violation of human rights. The massive arrests of the so-called maras began in March 2022, when the government declared a state of emergency after three days of violence left 87 dead, which the president blamed on the gang known as MS-13. On Wednesday, Bukele published on his Twitter account a poll that gave him 91% of the population’s support. ‘The main opposition newspaper published today their brand new poll. It gives us a 91% approval rating. I wonder what the real approval rating is if the opposition is saying 91%,’ he said.
Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency