El Salvador: A visit to new 'mega-prison' points to severe conditions

Conditions inside a huge new mega-prison designed to house 40,000 alleged gang members will be particularly severe.

Miguel Montenegro, director of the nongovernmental Human Rights Commission of El Salvador, has warned of the “risks of violence” in a prison he said would likely end up being badly overcrowded.

There will most likely be more than the announced capacity of 40,000,” considering that 63,000 presumed gang members have been arrested since President Nayib Bukele declared a state of emergency last spring allowing arrests without warrants, in the violence-plagued country.

Montenegro has assailed the vast prison – a 166-hectare (410-acre) facility known as the Terrorism Containment Center, or CECOT – as “an embarrassment for the country.”