June 23, 2021

Concludes the transfer of prisoners from a Salvadoran prison that will be the university headquarters



The authorities of El Salvador concluded this Friday with the transfer of around 1,360 inmates, members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS13), to close the Chalatenango Criminal Security Center (north) and occupy the space for the construction of a university headquarters .

The director of the Directorate of Criminal Centers, Osiris Luna, told reporters that the inmates were transferred, mostly, to the San Francisco Gotera Criminal (east), and to the penal centers of Ciudad Barrios (east) and Sonsonate (west) ).

Luna explained that on Thursday, 620 prisoners were transferred and this Friday concluded the procedure with the movement of 749 inmates.

“We have redistributed to the prison population and we must emphasize that we are not taking overcrowding to other prisons,” said the head of Penal Centers.

The Presidency reported Thursday that the closure of the prison “responds to one of the president’s main campaign promises (Nayib Bukele) to take inmates from that city to make way for the creation of a university headquarters.”

It is unknown if the university headquarters will be part of the state University of El Salvador (UES) and the budget for its construction.

The source also indicated that the transfer of the inmates “is due to the actions carried out by the General Directorate of Criminal Centers to close penitentiary facilities in places of high concentration of people.”

“The existence of penalties within cities, many of them built decades ago, no longer corresponds to the necessary measures to ensure the safety of surrounding towns,” he said.

According to various humanitarian organizations, the State of El Salvador violates the rights of prisoners with a series of “extraordinary measures” applied by the Executive in 2016 and which became permanent by decision of the Legislative Assembly.

The Cristosal organization requested on December 2 the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) to partially annul the reform of the penitentiary law that allows “inhuman” treatment in prisons.

These measures are those related to the restriction of family visits, the strict regime in maximum security prisons and the prolonged isolation of prisoners.

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