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Nayib Bukele will deploy police and military to surround the cities of El Salvador against gang members | International

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced Wednesday that he will deploy police and military to surround the Central American cities of the country against gangs. The president’s measure is part of a very harsh policy against these organizations that has cost him a multitude of criticisms and complaints from organizations in defense of human rights. The war against the gangs already leaves, according to the Government, thanks to the emergency regime, some 58,000 detainees and the politician took advantage of a military act held in San Juan Opico, just over 30 kilometers from San Salvador, to advance his next steps .

“What we are practically going to do is encircle large cities and carry out the processes of extracting the terrorists who are inside those cities, without giving them the chance to escape,” Bukele launched before some 14,000 soldiers who were concentrated on a piece of land near a military headquarters. “For security reasons,” the president added, the authorities will not release the names of these cities. However, he promised that “in the next few days” they will be surrounded by police and military to arrest gang members.

President Bukele speaking from Ciudad Arce.
President Bukele speaking from Ciudad Arce.Rodrigo Sura (EFE)

This measure has a precedent. It happened at the beginning of October, when the government put a siege on the municipality of Comasagua after a murder and, according to official information, thus managed to dismantle a cell of the Mara Salvatrucha MS-13. Bukele described the operation as a “success” and added: “If they want to escape or someone wants to supply them with weapons, or food, or ammunition, or cell phones, or everything they use to intimidate the population, well, here they go. to intercept them.”

The plan is currently lacking in other details. The Government did not report exactly on the implementation of the fences and limited itself to saying that they are part of the so-called Territorial Control security program. In El Salvador, an emergency regime has been in force since March 27 that allows arrests without a warrant. Despite questions from the opposition and a large part of the international community, the emergency regime was recently extended by Congress until mid-December. Until last March, in the prisons of El Salvador there were 16,000 imprisoned gang members. Most of the detainees are members of the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs in their southern and revolutionary factions.

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