New prisons will be built far from population centers

The regulatory framework to build new penitentiary centers away from population concentrations was approved yesterday by the Salvadoran Congress with the support of 64 deputies from the Nuevas Ideas, GANA, PDC, and PCN caucuses.

The divided FMLN faction voted against and abstained, while ARENA, VAMOS, and Nuestro Tiempo voted against, as they have done with other initiatives related to the fight against criminal groups, including the emergency regime.

Christian Guevara, head of the cyan faction, introduced the initiative containing the bill, for which approval was also requested with a waiver of processing.

«More jails for gang members, so they don’t see the sunlight again» — Guevara wrote on Twitter. He explained that the regulations establish this special regulatory framework for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of penitentiary centers that are built in the country.

He added that the new prisons are necessary due to the «increase in the population deprived of liberty operated by the exceptional regime», imposed after the wave of murders at the end of last month. The government has reported that, since the state of emergency came into force on March 27, more than 13,000 gang members have been arrested in the country.

The president of the republic, Nayib Bukele, recently ordered the Penitentiary Center authorities to build penitentiary centers to detain gang members detained by the public and military forces.

The cyan Congressman Raúl Castillo assured that with this legislation, the errors committed by past administrations, which endorsed the construction of prisons in the middle of the cities, will be corrected.

«The little intelligence that the former presidents of El Salvador had allowed prisons to be built in the middle of cities, but that will change» — Castillo said on Twitter.

«We are going to pass a law so that penal centers are built in the most remote and remote areas of the population. President Nayib Bukele is going to guarantee that there are no more prisons in the middle of the municipalities» — added the cyan legislator.

The new legislation establishes that the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOP) will be in charge of the planning, design, and construction of penitentiary centers, in coordination with the General Directorate of Penitentiary Centers.

The regulation, which consists of 33 articles, provides for tax exemption for those involved in the work’s execution.In addition, it develops a transitory regime for the acquisition of real estate with which «the MOP is empowered to declare the goods, works, and buildings that will comprise the construction area of ​​the penitentiary centers of public utility.»