Inmates crammed in crate bunks in mega-prison where gang members are ‘tortured’

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    A new prison has been ordered to make conditions even worse behind bars so gangsters are too scared to commit crime.

    As part of a huge crackdown on rampant gang crime in El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele built a new mega prison described as a "centre for terrorists" where some inmates are forced to sleep without a bed.

    The high-tech jail in Tecoluca named Centre for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT) is designed for a whopping 40,000 prisoners and despite only being operational since February, it has already faced claims that inmates are tortured there.

    READ MORE: Brutal mega-prison housing 40,000 gangsters opens up to new lags with chilling message

    Recent reports suggested that masked inmates are crammed into crate-like bunks. Some 12,000 men are currently at the facility built in 2022.

    The Sun reported that around 75 inmates sleep on the metal cabins and are forced to share just two toilets and two sinks in a 100 square-metre cell.

    The title also stated that prisoners plead for food and medicine for 'the terminally ill dying around them.' This is not unlikely, according to Cristosal, the primary civil society human rights organisation in El Salvador.

    Cristosal said in May that dozens of inmates died as a result of torture, beatings, mechanical suffocation via strangulation or wounds or were left to die because of lack of medical attention in El Salvador's harsh prison system during Bukele's so called 'war on gangs'.

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    The state of emergency Bukele has used to make the arrests has led to serious human rights violations, it's been claimed.

    Among them are “mass arbitrary detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment against detainees, deaths in custody, and abuse-ridden prosecutions”, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

    “We are eliminating this cancer from society,” Justice and Public Security Minister Gustavo Villatoro said on Twitter about the inmates as the first lot were loaded onto buses, hands and feet in shackles, and taken to the facility in February.

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    “Know that you will never walk out of CECOT, you will pay for what you are … cowardly terrorists,” he said.

    The images of the men, stripped down to white boxer shorts and round up like cattle, captured the attention of the world in February and put the focus on Bukele's fight against gangs, namely MS-13 and 18th Street.

    But his fight does little to tackle the root cause of crime. Amnesty International criticised his government, stating that the prison doesn't "address the root causes of violence" and that it only allows the government to continue its "policy of mass incarceration".

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    The prison features dining halls, exercise rooms and table tennis tables, but they are reserved exclusively for the guards.

    Inmates will only have the opportunity to leave their room for legal hearings via video conference, or if they're being punished in an unlit and windowless isolation cell.

    The prison is situated 46 miles southeast of the capital, San Salvador, a d consists of eight buildings, all made of reinforced concrete.

    They all include 32 cells of approximately 100 square metres. And as per the Public Works Minister, Romeo Rodriguez, each one will hold over 100 inmates.

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    And what the prisoners can expect was laid bare by a 20-year-old man detained in the Mariona prison. He recalled that a guard constantly threatened inmates with death.

    “You’ll leave here alive only if you’re lucky,” he would say to the prisoners. “While [inmates] kneeled, [guards] gave them electric shocks, and they drew blood from one.

    "When they entered the area where the guards stayed, they were beaten again," the prisoner said in a report into Bukele's prisons generally.

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