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This is CECOT, the gang members’ prison in El Salvador 🎦

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This is CECOT, the gang members’ prison in El Salvador 🎦

A YouTuber gains access to El Salvador’s Terrorism Confinement Center

Almost a year after the first gang members were transferred to the CECOT (Terrorism Confinement Center), a YouTuber had rare access to the highly secure facility in El Salvador. Chilean-Spanish documentary filmmaker and YouTuber Rubén Díez was able to verify all the security filters and even arrived at the place where the cells are located.

Upon entering the CECOT, Díez and his coworker were subjected to intense security measures including being inspected four times and having their tattoos checked. They also went through at least three scanners and a facial identification before reaching the patio of the place. Once inside the cell building, they were only allowed to walk on yellow lines, not approach the cells, and not talk to the inmates.

The CECOT houses members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang and Barrio 18, who are divided into two groups: southerners and revolutionaries, living in the same cells, something that was not done before. Previous governments had separate prisons for each gang in an attempt to prevent rivalries and conflicts. However, the current arrangement suggests a shift in policy.

Some of the gang members, upon noticing the presence of the cameras, made signs and sent messages with mime, according to the prison director, as a way to communicate about their plans for reorganization. The facility currently holds twelve thousand prisoners but has space for up to 40 thousand inmates.

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