A state of emergency has been declared at the Salvadoran prisons of Ciudad Barrios, Gotera, Cojutepeque, Izalco, Chalatenango, Quezaltepeque and Zacatecoluca. Officials say that criminals detained at these prisons are ordering extortion and other crimes to be committed outside.
Salvadoran officials declared the state of emergency, which will last seven days, in order to maintain calm at the institutions.
Secretary of Justice and Security, Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde, explained that the measure consists of restricting prisoners’ activities and suspending visitation.
The possibility to declare such a state of emergency in “zones of high danger” to increase police and military presence and make prisons more secure is one of the “extreme measures” introduced by the Salvadoran government on March 14.
According to local media, the director of prisons, Rodil Hernández, and the director of the National Civil Police, Howard Coto, the Salvadoran armed forces will be stationed in the areas around the prisons.
Fernando Cuevas Moranchel