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  • 1440 Daily Digest

El Salvador's Mega Prison

El Salvador officials transferred a second batch of 2,000 suspects to its newly built Terrorism Confinement Center while extending emergency powers for the 13th consecutive month in the fight against gangs. The prison, built to house 40,000 suspected gang members, will be the largest in the world if it reaches capacity.

The emergency measures allow arrests to be made without a warrant and include a suspension of some constitutional rights, including access to a lawyer. Approximately 65,000 alleged gang members have been arrested since the measures were enacted. The crackdown largely targets members of the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs and is supported by many Salvadorans. However, human rights groups have criticized the measures for arbitrary arrests, torture, deaths of prisoners, and the wrongful detainment of innocent people.

El Salvador has the world's highest incarceration rate, with nearly 2% of the population behind bars. See video from inside the center (warning—sensitive content).

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