SAN SALVADOR – El Salvador, a Central American country that has been under an emergency regime for a year, has become the country with the highest rate of prisoners in the world, with 605 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the NGO Washington Office for Latin American Affairs. (WOLA).
“Before the state of emergency was established, the country’s prison system had a capacity for 30,000 people. After an avalanche of arrests, El Salvador has become the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world,” the NGO said. based in Washington.
On March 27, 2022, after gangs murdered 87 Salvadorans in three days, President Nayib Bukele convened the Legislative Assembly to approve a 30-day emergency decree, known as a regime of exception, which has been extended 11 times and has allowed the Salvadoran State to arrest more than 66,000 people accused of participating in illegal groups.
According to data shared by WOLA, the more than 96,000 prisoners currently in El Salvador cause the country to raise its incarceration rate above Rwanda, a country in East Africa, whose prison rate is 580 per 100,000 inhabitants; and on Turkmenistan, from Asia, with a rate of 576 prisoners.
“El Salvador is using what should be a temporary emergency measure as a long-term citizen security strategy that restricts constitutional rights and gives the state the power to carry out arbitrary mass detention, torture and ill-treatment, which even has led to deaths in custody,” according to the organization.
The Bukele government has defended a heavy-handed policy in applying the law, rejecting criticism from human rights organizations inside and outside the country, based on the high level of acceptance of his management, according to surveys.
“Now, one year later, we close with 0 homicides, and March 2023 is close to being the safest month in all of our history,” he said in a statement. Tweet the Salvadoran president on Monday, after the anniversary of the emergency measure.
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