El Salvador to open 40k inmate mega-prison

El Salvador has lost all patience for gang members

El Salvador is a global hotspot for criminal gangs.

The country is notorious for being the international base for the street gang Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13. This gang originated in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles in the 1980s. It was formed by illegal aliens, primarily from El Salvador. This gang rapidly grew in size and spread across the USA. As members were deported back to El Salvador, they quickly became one of the most significant street gangs in Central America as well. MS-13 is known for trying to upstage and intimidate other criminal gangs with its brutality. America’s open southern border is a crucial factor that allows the gang to flourish and move people and drugs.

Currently, the largest prison in El Salvador is La Esperanza, built in the late 1970s to house political prisoners near the outbreak of the El Salvadoran civil war. It was intended to house up to 10,000 people. However, over time it started housing drug traffickers and gang members. It was just down from 2002 to 2006 due to unsanitary conditions. Then re-opened as the “La Esperanza Model Prison” with a greater focus on rehabilitation and job training.

The La Esperanza Model Prison currently holds 33,000 prisoners despite being built for only 10,000 inmates. The rest of El Salvador’s prisons were designed to have another 20,000 inmates and are also overcrowded. This is after the El Salvadoran congress granted President Nayib Bukele emergency powers to launch a massive crackdown on gangs in March of 2022. According to Reuters, England’s Channel 4, and other major media outlets, the crackdown has been widely popular in El Salvador.

A new mega-prison opening in Tecoluca, El Salvador, is called the “Terrorism Confinement Center” and is designed to house a staggering 40,000 people. This will increase the official prison capacity in El Salvador from 30,000 to 70,000!

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