El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele issues ultimatum to gangs deemed responsible for dozens of murders in three days.
Inmates are handcuffed and rushed into horror jails. There are about 70,000 members of different gangs in El Salvador. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele issued an ultimatum Monday to gangs considered responsible for dozens of homicides in three days, threatening to increase punishments on their more than 16,000 imprisoned members.
The Central American nation declared a state of emergency Sunday as it endures a fresh wave of gang violence, with police reporting 87 dead since Friday. “Stop killing now or they (the incarcerated) are going to pay for it too,” Bukele tweeted, alongside video footage of a prison raid in which officers drag half-naked inmates out of their cells, force them to run and search them in the courtyard.
The images also show officers rush the inmates, who are handcuffed and wear only white boxer shorts. Some of them fall as they are forced along. Hundreds are also filmed kneeling, in a row. Bukele’s reaction comes the day after lawmakers declared the state of emergency at his request, expanding police powers and curtailing civil liberties. The homicides were allegedly ordered by the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 gangs. “We have 16,000 ‘homeboys’ in our power, apart from the 1,000 arrested” in recent days, Bukele said Monday. He had also decreed a “maximum emergency” in all prisons since Sunday. —Agencies