The first group of 2,000 gang members was incarcerated in El Salvador mega-prison

They have been moved to a vast new prison, the centerpiece of President Nayib Bukele's self-declared war on crime.


San Salvador, Feb.26.– Tens of thousands of gangsters have been rounded up in the country under a state of emergency following a spike in murders and other violent crimes.

The first 2,000 prisoners who were members of the gangs called Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 were transferred on Friday February 24 to the largest penitentiary center on the American continent, which can accommodate up to 40,000 inmates.

Buses arriving to CECOT mega prisonThis brand new prison, with high security and state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, located in Tecoluca (70 kilometers east of the capital San Slavador) is called “CECOT”, the acronym for Center for the Containment of Terrorism.

Pictures published by the BBC show the first massive group of inmates - tattooed and barefoot Maras in Salvador's CECOT mega prison- being led to the facility in shackles.

President Bukele tweeted that the first 2,000 people were transferred "at dawn, in a single operation" to the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism, which he says is the largest jail in the Americas.

"This will be their new house, where they will live for decades, all mixed, unable to do any further harm to the population."

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