Home » Alberto Otárola confirms interest in replicating the El Salvador model: Are ‘Bukele prisons’ viable in Peru? | POLICY

Alberto Otárola confirms interest in replicating the El Salvador model: Are ‘Bukele prisons’ viable in Peru? | POLICY

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Alberto Otárola confirms interest in replicating the El Salvador model: Are ‘Bukele prisons’ viable in Peru?  |  POLICY

Otárola on Minister’s Trip to El Salvador: Understanding the Plan for Peru’s Penitentiary System

Alejandro Otárola, the head of the Ministerial Cabinet, addressed the media regarding the recent trip of Minister of Justice Eduardo Arana to El Salvador. This trip came shortly after the Government promulgated Supreme Decree No. 003-2024-JUS, which approves the Multisector Strategic Plan of the National Penitentiary Policy to 2030.

During his press conference, Otárola explained that Minister Arana was sent by the Government to observe the prison logistics in El Salvador. The purpose of this visit was to study the effectiveness of the infrastructure in place, specifically designed to house violent and dangerous prisoners.

Otárola emphasized the need for Peru to adopt similar strategies to address the issue of prison overcrowding, with nearly one hundred thousand prisoners, half of whom have not yet been sentenced. He expressed concerns about the influence of violent criminals within prisons, facilitating communication with criminal organizations outside.

Furthermore, Otárola announced plans for the maintenance and construction of two or three penitentiary centers in Peru this year. These new facilities aim to address the needs of highly dangerous prisoners and alleviate the strain on existing prisons.

The cost of Minister Arana’s trip to El Salvador, totaling over US$ 4,000, has raised some questions about the feasibility of implementing similar models in Peru. Former officials such as Marisol Pérez Tello, Gilmar Andía, and Leonardo Caparrós have expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of infrastructure-focused solutions without addressing underlying issues in the prison system.

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Pérez Tello emphasized the importance of providing rehabilitation and reintegration programs for prisoners upon release, while Andía questioned the direction of the current government’s criminal policy. Caparrós suggested exploring alternative models from European countries and neighboring nations like Chile.

The discussion surrounding the trip to El Salvador and the proposed strategies for Peru’s penitentiary system highlights the complexities and challenges in addressing the country’s prison situation. As plans for new construction unfold, it remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in improving the overall functioning of the prison system.

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