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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Salvadoran Prisons – Hubs of Organised Crime - IPS ipsnews.net


06:35 | ,

Salvadoran Prisons – Hubs of Organised Crime - IPS ipsnews.net: "Extortion is not the only crime ordered from prison cells. Kidnappings and murders are also planned, usually by convicts belonging to the Salvatrucha and M18 gangs, the two leading street gangs in Central America.

The crimes orchestrated from prison contribute to the soaring violence that has been tearing apart Salvadoran society.

This Central American country of 7.2 million people is one of the most violent countries in the world, with an average of 12 homicides a day and a rate of 71 murders per 100,000 people.

'We have police reports of inmates ordering kidnappings, from inside the Zacatecoluca prison, since 2005,' the head of the prison system, Douglas Moreno, told IPS.

Although the prison in the central region of Zacatecoluca is a maximum-security facility, that hasn't prevented cell phones from being smuggled in, with the cooperation of the guards.

No matter how many search and seizure operations are carried out by the prison authorities, chips and cell phones are inevitably found on prisoners. Last August, 14,000 illegal objects were found, including 1,306 cell phones, 1,317 chips, and over 400 rechargeable batteries.

The local press has reported numerous cases of women -- girlfriends, wives and relatives of the inmates -- smuggling in chips in their anal or vaginal cavities."


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