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The popular young President of El Salvador has earned himself a reputation for being a fighter and a man of the people with a nationalist vision for his country’s future.

So, it’s no surprise that President Nayib Bukele is cracking down with an iron fist on gang violence that’s plagued his country.

After issuing a “state of emergency,” Bukele has rounded up about 2000 gang members; many from the infamous “MS-13” gang, and he’s locking them up in his new state-of-the-art prison mega-complex called “The Center of Confinement of Terrorism.”

Here’s what Bukele said about the crackdown in a tweet which included a video of the roundup and footage of the new mega-complex: “Today at dawn, in a single operation, we transferred the first 2,000 gang members to the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT). This will be their new house, where they will live for decades, mixed up, unable to do any more harm to the population. We continue…”

The new prison is breaking world records.

Business Insider:

Construction on the “mega-prison,” which can hold up to 40,000 inmates, only finished at the end of January. If the prison reaches the stated total capacity, it will be the biggest in the world. The largest prison in the world is the Silivri Penitentiaries Campus in Turkey, which holds more than 22,000 inmates, according to the Guinness World Records.

The prison is surrounded by 36-foot-high walls and electric fences.

The newspaper writes that every cell has an iron sheet cabin, with no mattress, that can sleep up to 80 people.

The move is part of a huge push to crack down on gang violence and murders in the country, which is among the worst in the world. In March 2022, President Bukele declared a “state of exception,” suspending rights to freedom of expression, association, and due process.

Here’s a more detailed look at the 2000 gang members recently processed into the facility:

And this is a behind-the-scenes-look at how the operation to capture these gang members unfolded:

Bukele’s anti-gang push is extremely popular with Salvadorans. However, human rights groups are criticizing the efforts, and calling for an end to the “state of emergency” issued by the government.

Some critics also asked what would happen when gang members are released back into society.

Bukele and his team replied, “They won’t be.”


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