America's largest prison: 'Escape is impossible'

El Pais, one of Spain's leading newspapers, visited the massive prison constructed by El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele.

Publication: 09.02.2024 - 14:16
America's largest prison: 'Escape is impossible'
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Described as "Bukele's Alcatraz," the mega prison is located in a valley in the town of Tecoluca, 75 kilometers from the capital, San Salvador.

Opened by Bukele in February last year as part of his fight against gangs, the Terror Preservation Center occupies an area of approximately 166 hectares.

The dystopian atmosphere within the mega prison is depicted as follows:

"Here, the sky never darkens. Artificial light illuminates the cells and inner courtyards 24 hours a day. Inmates sleep on iron beds stacked to the ceiling. Closed-circuit cameras watch over them like a silent god."

According to Independent Türkçe, the use of forks and knives is prohibited in the prison, and inmates eat with their hands. They are granted 30 minutes of walking time per day, during which their hands and feet are shackled.

The report mentions that the largest prison in the Americas is surrounded by four walls, each 3 meters high and 60 centimeters thick, topped with barbed wire. Additionally, it highlights how gravel surfaces would expose any escape attempt.


The prison director, who preferred not to disclose his identity, emphasized the maximum security of the massive structure, stating:

"Escape is impossible. These psychopaths will spend their entire lives behind bars here."

El Pais reported that the prison, housing 40,000 inmates across eight sections, refused to disclose the exact number of detainees. The article also noted that some assassins responsible for dozens of murders received sentences of 700 years. 

Meanwhile, Bukele solidified his leadership by winning the February 4th elections by a wide margin. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador announced that 70% of the votes in the presidential election had been counted, with Bukele securing 85.22% of the votes. 

Manuel Flores, the candidate of the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), received 6.09% of the votes, while Joel Sanchez, the candidate of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), received approximately 5.36%. Only 5% of the votes in the parliamentary elections have been counted, with Bukele's New Ideas party leading the way.

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