“These psychopaths will spend their entire lives behind bars,” said the director of the prison where dangerous criminals who murdered hundreds of people are serving up to 700 years in prison.
Within its imposing walls, the most dangerous criminals serve their sentences. This is the Terrorism Containment Center (Cecot) designed by Nayib Bukele do just that: lock up criminals who belong to dangerous organizations like Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18.
But, What is life like for these people behind the bars of Bukele, also called “Alcatraz”?
A journalist from the Spanish newspaper The country visited Cecot, the megaprison where the serious crimes that its detainees committed on the streets of The Savior and the rest of the continent. Most are serving 700 years in prison.
This is how prisoners live.
How criminals live inside Bukele megaprison
Can you imagine not being able to turn off the light when you sleep? In Bukele prison, There are artificial lights in the cells that are never turned off, even when prisoners sleep on a cold metal plate.
Security is unforgiving. They are monitored by cameras 24 hours a day and They can’t even use forks or knives to eat: they have to use their hands, because they don’t have the slightest possibility of having anything that could become a weapon.
AND They also have no privacy to go to the toilet. . At the end of a corridor, there are two toilets visible to all.
They practice calisthenics during the week, which keeps them in shape. But in their cells, they do not move or speak. Their heads are shaved every five days. “Outside, they were formidable, they produced terror. Now they radiate sadness.
They spend most of their time there, where They have two Bibles for each, but they can go out for a maximum of 30 minutes a day in a huge hallway. . A very limited freedom, because they are limited by chains on their feet and hands which bend their body.
The hooded police officers watching from the roof don’t miss a thing. Just in case, they are armed with guns and have their eyes fixed on shaved and tattooed heads.
No prisoner dares to escape, because it is practically impossible: They would have to pass through four thick walls 60 centimeters deep and three meters high. At the top of them, a fence of sharp barbed wire awaits them.
“They will never experience love in freedom again, nor probably sex. They are not allowed calls or visits. “They slipped into a black hole, an eternal non-place, cold and soulless.” they wrote in El País.
The prison director did not wish to reveal his name, but he wanted to be clear: “There’s no escaping it. “These psychopaths will spend their entire lives behind bars. »
Bukele managed to arrest more than 70,000 criminals thanks to his “iron fist” policy . All of them could easily steal, traffic, and kill, so their confinement led to a decline in the region’s homicide rate, a milestone many thought impossible to achieve.
The megaprison has become almost a symbol of the country, criticized and admired by the rest of the world. And even entering the premises is difficult. According to El País journalist Juan Diego Quesada, when you enter the center, the officials, with their faces completely covered, check your entire body while you have your hands behind your head.
“They ask if they have tattoos. The roll bars have x-rays that expose the intestines. The sound of the locks on the iron doors is loud. Little by little, a feeling of confinement tightens our throat,” Quesada said.
Continuous: “No person who entered in handcuffs ever saw the light of day again.”