The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, warned the gangs on Monday that if homicides increase in the country, they will take away food in prisons where they are imprisoned, according to the president, some 23,000 members of these structures will be taken away.
“I'm going to take this opportunity to send a message to criminals: you unleash a crime wave and we take away food in prisons, so you better rest easy and let yourself be arrested,” Bukele said during a 205-student graduation event of the National Academy of Public Security (ANSP) that was broadcast on social networks.
The president pointed out that “there are rumors out there that you want to start taking revenge on people who are honest at random, do that and there will not be a meal time in prisons. Let's see how long their homeboys (gang members) last inside,” he warned.
“I swear to God they don't eat rice,” he said.
He added: “I don't care what international organizations say, that they come to protect our people, that they come and take those gang members if they want them so much, we give them all up.”
The president also said Monday, during the military graduation, that gangs are the “armed arm” of humanitarian organizations, international community and opposition parties.
On Sunday, he also launched this accusation and published that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and journalists are also “members of gang members”.
“There is no doubt that their attacks will intensify as they feel they lose their armed arm,” Bukele said.
El Salvador served one week on Sunday under a regime of emergency after an escalation of murders that claimed the lives of more than 80 people. Congress suspended, at Bukele's request and without any study or discussion, several constitutional rights, including that of the defense and inviolability of telecommunications.
The Government has carried out massive arrests of alleged gang members, in what it has called a “war against gangs”, as did its predecessors.
The security forces have captured 5,747 alleged gang members, while relatives of the detainees sought information and reported attacks.
(With information from EFE)